Risking Freedom

At Niagara, I was taught that part of being a professional in the teaching field was all about reflecting.  As you know, I have reflected on my first day of orientation.  And I will write another reflection at the end of orientation (so on Tuesday) about what I thought of the whole process and if I feel like it helped me at all.  Or in what ways it helped.

But in a way, I am going to reflect a little bit right now.  A lot of times, my reflection is going to be based around how I am feeling about the way things went.  If I feel it was helpful.  If I feel it went well.  If I feel like a success when everything is done.  I can tell you the answers to some of those questions right now, and I’m sure that they are not going to change.

I am confused right now (and rightly so, I believe).  And I think that is why this next part of orientation has really stuck with me.  Stuck with me enough to look up the quote.  Stuck with me enough for me to want to write about it today.

On top of already being a quotes person, the one that I am about to share is tremendously important to me right now.  This quote showed up at the beginning of one of Harry Wong’s videos on the first days of school.  I believe we were watching the first part which might have been on classroom management (clearly that part didn’t stick tremendously well).  The quote is a poem about risking and being free.

“To laugh is to risk appearing the fool.
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.
To reach for another is to risk involvement.
To expose your ideas, your dreams, before a crowd is to risk their loss.
To love is to risk not being loved in return.
To live is to risk dying.
To believe is to risk despair.
To try is to risk failure.
But risks must be taken, because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.
The people who risk nothing, do nothing, have nothing, are nothing.
They may avoid suffering and sorrow, but they cannot learn, feel, change, grow, love, live.
Chained by their attitudes they are slaves; they have forfeited their freedom.
Only a person who risks is free.”

I am not sure who wrote this poem/quote.  But it encompasses so many of my thoughts that I am having.  It could pertain to me in whichever route I choose to go as my long term sub position ends and I pursue a probationary teaching position at that district, at a different district, or a completely different profession all together.

The last part of this poem is not something that I think I would jump to agreement with.  If were to see that last line as a phrase and to mark whether I agree with it or not, I would probably mark that I do not.  But they explain it so well.  And it relates to things that I have done in my life.  Risks that I have taken.  Risks that I know I need to take.

It is true and I completely agree with it.  It is a risk to talk to anyone.  It is a risk to interact with anyone.  It is a risk to live any type of life.  But what is the point of life if not to risk and be rewarded.  The bigger the risk, the bigger the reward (or the fall).  But you’ll always get back up.  You’ll always find something that will carry you through.  Risks are tricky, but they must be taken.

I am willing to risk another year of financial insecurity (and I am able to do this with the help of my mother, who is letting me live back at home rent free), to be sure that I can cut it in the teaching profession.  To continue to try and find a full time job in the teaching profession in this area.  To try and decide that I am not going to stay in this area.

I am willing to risk my sanity in order to work with kids and people that may not like me.  That may not like the way that I do things.

I am willing to risk my creative instincts and independence in order to get my foot a little further in the door.  To begin to cross the threshold and hopefully be invited to come and stay for a while.  I am willing to put aside my own thoughts and try to help someone who needs it because I want to help (as is my nature) and I want to be accepted and invited to join the teaching community for real.

I am willing to risk everything.  And I will gain something infinitely better than what I have.  Or I will sink to the bottom and crawl to the top again with a new dream.  In a new profession.  With a better realization of who I am and where I belong in this world.

How do you feel about the poem I posted in this entry?  Are you typically a risk taker?  Do you think that this poem will make you risk things more?


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