I spent my Saturday morning doing a terrifying, yet exciting thing that all parents both dread and eagerly anticipate. The mere thought of this activity made me feel both anxious and exhilarated. Yesterday, I took Mollie, my youngest child, to take her permit test. Yes, I know you are wondering how someone my age could possibly have 4 children who can drive, but I assure you it's possible.
Going to the DMV was not something I was looking forward to- I have many memories of long waits there, but due to COVID, that wasn't that bad. We got there and as I sat in the waiting room waiting for my daughter to finish her test, it hit me- I was going to need to take her driving today. I thought back to my first drive with my son, Jacob, and how I fondly remember it as one of scariest moments of my life.
At that moment, I wondered what would be worse- if she didn't pass or taking her driving? Before I could contemplate this much further, she came out and shared that she had passed and even got 100%. It was time to go driving, Like I had done four years earlier with my son, we drove over to our local elementary school to "practice."
I could tell she was nervous as I began to explain to her about the brake and the gas pedals. But I patiently helped her through it and got her started driving. Those first few laps were rough- she didn't know how to steer properly and turning was not easy. At one point, she got frustrated and I asked if she needed a break. But she persevered through and by the end of her driving session, she was definitely improving. It was hard for me to determine how much help I should give her at first but as the laps progressed, we found a comfortable rhythm as we worked through this new challenge together.
That sense of fear that comes over you when you are worried about what happens next or even doubt your ability to do something- I totally understand that feeling. As a tech coach, I work with a variety of educators. Some are worried about what happens next when trying a new tech tool; while others might totally doubt their ability to use new technology. As we coteach lessons, we too need to find that rhythm and like driving, that only comes with practice.
The problem occurs when we allow that fear to stop us. We all can do hard things. Often, that sense of fear is a precursor to growth. My daughter felt that fear before she drove for the first time. I felt that fear before she drove with me in the car. But we didn't let that stop us. We kept going, practiced and acknowledged that growth takes time.
Beyond my parenting woes and successes, this happened to me a few weeks ago as I filled out an application to be part of a NASA cohort to earn my ISTE certification. As I filled out the application, that fear set in. Was I really qualified to apply for this? Did I really think that I could receive a scholarship from NASA to get ISTE Certification? After going over the application many times, I finally needed to make a decision- and I hit SUBMIT.
What was the worst that could happen? I could get rejected, right? But this past Friday, my perseverance was rewarded. I received an email that I had been accepted as one of the members of the NASA cohort and would receive a scholarship to get my ISTE certification (a cost that is usually $750-$850)..
I am overjoyed and so honored to be part of this amazing opportunity. Am I a little nervous about the experience, sure! But I now know that's part of growing and that by going through this new experience, I am going to level up into an even better coach, speaker and writer.
Don't let the fear stop you. There is so much uncertainty in our world right now, As my rabbi shared during High Holiday services, we can either let the uncertainty win or look at it as possibilities. With my daughter, I chose to focus on the possibilities of her driving in the future and how wonderful that will be. With the educators I work with, we focus on the possibilities the technology can provide. With my own fears, I focus on the possibilities that will come from me leveling up with other amazing educators and then sharing my new learning and paying it forward. What will you do? Don't let the fear win! Amaze yourself with the possibilities and see what happens next!