Dear Belmont High School Community,
Each week I post a newsletter to the faculty and staff at Belmont High School. In the principal’s notes section, I usually have a short message on best practises and school news. Below is this weeks principal’s message in the Principal’s Page newsletter. Enjoy.
* Principal’s Notes:
Good Morning Faculty and Staff,
I hope everyone had a restful weekend and was able to spend time with family, friends or just quality personal time. No matter how you spent it, I hope you had some fun.
Over the past few years, I have stressed the importance of thoughtful risk-taking in the classroom. Risk-taking leads to a discovery of new skills, creativity, and innovation. It fosters a positive mindset. When we take risks, oftentimes, we can feel powerless, vulnerable, and afraid to fail. So that we – students, teachers, administrators – can grow and achieve the next level of success, we have to be willing to explore and breakout of our comfort zones. These uncomfortable feelings are natural and necessary for individuals to thrive and grow. The reward of succeeding is exhilarating!
It pushes us to a level we never thought we could achieve. As you take risks in your classroom, please feel free to consult and invite your colleagues and school administrators to help you succeed. My goal is to create a safe environment for teachers to explore taking risks without feeling the pressure of being penalized for trying.
Thanks to all who are taking that leap of faith and exploring the possibilities within you and your students!
Risk-taking at Belmont High School
What if I mess up?
Providing the freedom for risk-taking is an important trait of Belmont High School – we couldn’t expect so much of individuals if we also penalized people for errors. Risk-taking is genuinely looked at as opportunities to learn. We can always repair the mistake or make up for it the second or third time around.
Risk-taking is a great way to find out that your assumptions were wrong or that your curriculum, practice or instruction was a little off. As long as you update your model and move forward with a better picture, you’re doing it right. Look for ways to test your beliefs. Never be afraid to run an experiment, be creative, innovative, collect more data or differentiate your instruction. It helps to make predictions and anticipate unforeseen outcomes. Ask yourself, “What would I expect to see if I’m right?” Ask yourself, “What would I expect to see if I’m wrong?” Then ask yourself, “What do I see?” If something totally unexpected happens, try to figure out why.
There are still some bad ways to fail. Repeating the same mistake over and over is one. Not being open to coaching from others before or after a failure is another. Never ignore the evidence; particularly when it says you have made a mistake.
We at Belmont High School encourage and support risks to improve the teaching and learning of ALL our community members.