Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Dust yourself off and keep going

Okay, I will admit it, I am not a huge fitness buff. I love playing sports and as a kid, I loved practices, too. But, to go for a run or a bike ride or go to the gym as a form of exercise, that was never really my thing. As I get older though, I recognize the value in being more healthy. Ensuring that I eat right, get enough sleep and get enough exercise is becoming more  and more important.

This post will not be about fitness or exercise, but rather it sets up my story. In trying to be a bit more healthy, I decided to go for a bike ride. Easy enough, I figured a hard bike ride for a half hour or so would get the heart rate up and all would be good. About 20 minutes into the ride, I came to a curb and tried to pull the front end of the mountain bike up to get a softer landing off the curb.

It is at this point of the story, that I confess that I am not the most mechanically inclined individual and I have a certain level of trust in the mechanical devices that I use, mostly because I don't know any better. The bike that I own has a quick release front wheel that allows you to easily remove the front wheel. I will admit that I did not check to see if it was tight enough before I began riding, but when I pulled up on the handle bars and the front wheel came down, the rest of the front of the bike kept going. Somehow, when the tire came down, it was no longer attached to the front fork of the bike. I can honestly say, I don't know how it happened. Regardless, I ended up sort of doing a front roll / shoulder roll (I don't think it was very pretty) in the middle of the street onto my right side. My right elbow and right shoulder are scraped up, but I will survive.

In the next day or two, I will take the bike in to get serviced and then I will get back out there and that is where this post is really headed. As adults, as educators, and as learners, we need to be able to dust ourselves off when an event occurs that we are not happy with and keep going. It is essential that we learn from the specific experience and keep moving forward.

This is how learning happens, we fall off of our bike and we get back on and the next time we come to that curb, we know how to handle it better. We have learned what to do or what not to do. As a principal of a school, part of my job is to challenge my teachers to take risks and learn from that experience in order to become better teachers. They may make some mistakes along the way and that is the difficult part. We need to be able to dust ourself from these mistakes and move forward. When there are children in front of you and you have been tasked with their learning, is taking risks the best thing? Is it not better to do what you have always done, knowing that it works? This is a tough decision to make. But, as educators, one of the awarenesses we need to have is an awareness that the student we teach today is not the same as the student we taught last year, five years ago, or ten years ago. Our students are changing and we need to adapt with them.

In my last post, I talked about traditions and how important they are. I truly believe this. I believe this applies to the activities that we do and not necessarily how we do them. I also firmly believe that we can always improve and should look for ways to do so, we should take those risks so that we can do better than before.

I am looking forward to this upcoming year and seeing the risks that are taken, knowing that some mistakes will get made, but they will all be in the name of improvement and ultimately student success.  


  1. Keep pedaling Dan!! Great post.

  2. Love this, Dan. Thanks for sharing. I needed to read this today! Great blog, too!