Learning, Excellence, Advocacy, Dedication and Sharing takes place Every Minute of Every Day at Hand Middle School. This blog serves as a venue for Hand Middle School staff to showcase our Communication, Collaboration, and Community. We are grateful for the service of the faculty and staff to our students, their commitment to excellence and their dedication to infusing a sense of pride into everything we do. Our hope is that you are inspired by something you read.
Comfort zones…we all love
them. It’s where we feel confident…where we feel we can be most
productive…where we know what’s going to happen and won’t have to face many
challenges. While comfort zones are where we feel our best, there are
times when we need to step out of our comfort zones in an effort to dig
deeper within ourselves and reach our full potential. Often times, as
teachers we want to challenge our students to help them reach their fullest potential. We as teachers try daily to move our students
out of their comfort zones, but what about us? We too need to
step out on a limb and accept risks and challenges.
I have had my own personal
experience with comfort zones and this has challenged me greatly. When I began
my teaching career, I was given one 8th Grade Algebra 1 and three 8th
Grade Pre-Algebra classes. While all students took a standardized test, I
was very concerned about my 8th Grade Algebra class because they had
to take an End of Course Test and it counted as 20% of their final grade.
I knew that these results were going to reflect how much my students learned
and how well I taught them. With butterflies in my stomach, the day came
for my students to be tested and they all passed! I was thrilled! I felt
as if all of my hard work and dedication paid off. 100% passing rate!
The next school year I was given
two 8th Grade Algebra 1 classes. I already struggled with
doubting my abilities as a teacher and now I would be given another class that
would have to take the End of Course Test. Whew! Someone believed in me
and I am grateful, but to whom much is given, much is required. With
reservation, I accepted the challenge. Someone saw much more in me than I
saw in myself. Once I began to believe
in myself, I saw a few more years of 100% passing rate by my students.
I am now teaching three Algebra 1 classes
which includes two 7th Grade classes. I have never taught 7th
grade, so I naturally had a fear of the unknown. Many people painted a
negative picture of Seventh Graders to me and it discouraged me. I prayed
about the move and was reminded that no growth can take place within comfort
zones, it is not until we are challenged that we find out what we are capable
of. After being questioned by others, I
realized that I was doing exactly what I should be.
My leap of faith paid off because I
love what I am now doing. I love my 7th graders just as much
as I love my 8th graders. I love seeing their glowing faces
when they come into my room and have “aha!” moments while I’m teaching.
Although we have only been in school for about a month, I have learned that I
do not want to just sit in my comfort zone, but I would rather accept a
challenge and fail knowing that I gave it my best shot than to live knowing
that I never tried to be better. After
all, you can never fail outside of your comfort zone, it is simply a new
learning experience that promotes growth.
Outside of our comfort zones is the
knowledge of who we are and what we can become. Our potential is never realized in times of
comfort and ease, rather only in difficulty, change and challenge. Although you may love your comfort zone, if
you want to grow personally and professionally, step outside of it, feel the
thrill, enjoy the moment, and continue to grow.