Monday, December 12, 2016

Learning to Be Uncomfortable

My friend, the amazing Alice Keeler, dropped this great quote in an online conversation today.

Alice was talking about the way things sometimes change in a software update; the developers move buttons or menu items to new places, and it causes us to have to rethink, to relearn. But I love the twist here: those small moments of a little discomfort might be avenues to new learning.

I turned it into a graphic, because we should take this to heart, teachers. We should keep learning new things. We should keep striving to get better.

But we also need to recognize that learning new things can be a challenge. Learning new things can be hard.

There is always a learning curve; and a little discomfort in the process of learning should be expected.

I recently had a conversation with the future teachers I serve. We had some wide-open discussion about the joys and challenges of teaching. One of them made a comment along the lines of, "I'm just not sure I'll be ready to manage a classroom when I have to be in charge of things all by myself."

I understand that feeling. I've been there myself.

In response, I quipped something like, "Everyone wants to be great right out of the gate, but the only way to have ten years of experience is to go out there and teach for ten years."

My students accepted the truth of that response. While we might wish that we could just *POOF* into amazingness, most things take time, and effort, and work, and learning if we want to get good at it.

Sometimes it's just uncomfortable.

But do we ask our students to be a little uncomfortable in their learning process?

What if we didn't ask things of our students that we aren't willing to do ourselves? What if we took a very intentional approach to make sure we are trying hard things, things that challenge our brains, as Alice suggested?

Are you willing to learn to be uncomfortable with the process of learning?

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