25 Apr Courage in the Arena
Recently, our Lower School held its annual K-2 Talent Show. Many in our school community attended. While the talent was overtly evident and impressive, and the natural focus of the show was on highlighting our students’ many skills, it was profoundly moving to experience the sheer courage and grace our children displayed in participating. It is not easy getting up in front of a group of over three hundred to perform! Building upon these reflections, I found myself thinking of the role modeling has in learning and teaching.
In the work completed at our school, we frequently have conversations regarding what we can model for our students to help them learn. However, as is a beautiful dynamic of our work, it is also what they model for us that helps us to learn as well. In this case, I relearned that even if I am scared about doing something, it is important that I step out of my comfort zone and follow through.
Together, if we can get ourselves and our students to be comfortable in a place where, despite the outcome, we partake in life’s many events, exploring new places and experiences, well, that is a powerful and rewarding place to be! It is also a place where much new learning can occur.
Theodore Roosevelt said, “It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.” As is often the case, the achievement of this goal is as much about us modeling these acts of bravery for our students, as it is in creating opportunities for them to teach us the same thing.
In our talent show, our community supported our superstars to achieve something very significant. With our care and encouragement, the performers modeled for us great acts of courage. We now find ourselves in a place where it is again our turn to act. I ask myself: What can I do in my own life to build upon their very meaningful examples?