Embracing Fear...

Yes, it has been a while since I last blogged. Life got super busy as a result of an amazing opportunity I got this past week. After presenting at TCEA this past winter, I was contacted by Jamay Johnson at Cypress Fairbanks about doing professional development for their PK, K and Grade 1 teachers. Back then, when this journey first began- sure, I was excited but it didn't really seem real. August was far away in my mind and if I am being honest with myself, I wasn't sure if it would even happen.

But before I knew it, I was planning three full days of  professional learning including four 90 minute sessions each day.  I was excited to plan these days and I worked harder than ever before, wanting to make sure that my sessions were just right. I had been told that over the course of the three days, I would see 1,400 teachers in PK,K, and Grade 1. (Yes, you read that, right- one thousand four hundred teachers!) This would be the biggest job that I have ever done and sure, I had a healthy dose of fear- who wouldn't but I needed to embrace it!

Traveling There...

Ironically, what was I the most nervous about? Traveling to Houston, renting a car, and getting there. I felt so bad for my poor husband who needed to deal with my hyper energy that first day. Traveling somewhere always seems like you are in a rush and then you get there too early and end up waiting once again. Or at least that was what happened to me, I got to the airport very early and finally got some down time. Time to take a deep breath and trust in all the hard work I have been engaged in. By the time I got on the plane, I was doing much better- I even took some time to relax and watch some Netflix. It was just what I needed and before I knew it, I was there and my flight had landed. 

After landing, the trip wasn't exactly as I expected. The luggage felt like it took forever to show up; the wait for the rental car shuttle felt really long. Then, as I got my rental car, I realized that I didn't have my Apple CarPlay cable. Despite these annoying events, I made it to the hotel safe and sound- ready to begin this adventure.

Why I Was There-

During my time at Cypress Fairbanks, I presented my 90 min session of Creating with Littles. I love this session because with extra time, I am able to give participants time to play with some of the tools. As most educators do, I completely over planned. Better to be prepared than not. 

During the three days that I spent there, I worked with Grade 1 teachers on Tuesday, preK teachers on Wednesday, and Kindergarten teachers on Thursday. Each day was full of amazing moments. Doing four 90 minute sessions in a day for three days in a row was exhausting to be sure, but I loved getting to share with educators and have them become part of my Creating with Littles family, 

As I facilitated each session, I could feel myself leveling up, but even more important, I could sense the excitement and energy in the room as the participants made connections to the content I shared, extended their understanding of creating with littles, and challenged me with their follow up questions. It was truly amazing and exhilarating! It is a week that I will never forget!

And Its Rewards-

Many times, we let fear dictate what we can and can not do.  It makes things that challenge us seem beyond our reach and can overwhelm us. But when we embrace the fear as a sign of leveling up, the rewards are plentiful. Don't let the fear hold you back,  As we start a new school year, there are going to be both ups and downs. Challenges will lay on our path, but we can't let them win.

Doing something new or unfamiliar to us can be scary, but don't let that deter you from giving both your fellow educators and your students your best.  Taking risks is not easy, but if we want to prepare our students for a world that we cannot imagine- we need to do better- try new things. Consider that as you begin your year and "embrace the fear and its rewards."