professornana (professornana) wrote,

taking risks

If you have seen my Twitter and Facebook pages, you should have noticed (you might need to squint) that it is a photo of me standing next to a motorcycle. This is not a staged shot, folks. For about a decade or more I rode a Kawasaki Vulcan 550 cc bike. I loved it. Unfortunately, I gave it up when the residents of the back room came to live wih me. Just seemed the smart thing to do for many reasons.

It might be hard for some of you to reconcile "motorcycle" Teri with Professor Nana. But I assure you we are one and the same. I loved the freedom of riding, the unexpected journeys that occurred, the back roads trips off the beaten path. It was risky (my Mother always said to call hher after I got back from them not before), but i took so few risks elsehere that it seemed necessary. It was also something I shared with my BH who still rides at age 71.

When I sold the bike, I began to take risks elsewhere. Now, I am not some wild crazy person who puts her life in danger (and how I hate the reality shows where people will do this for money; what are they thinking?). But I do like to stick out my neck from time to time (well, you know that if you read this blog often). I think we need to take risks, to try something new. I have crossed things from my bucket list (some galdly and others vowing to try it again if I can), and still have more ahead.

Perhaps that explains my passion about books and reading, the real kind, not the faux CCSS stuff. I love opening a book, diving in, and seeing what will happen. Some bookks lead me to quiet pools where I thumb leisurely; others are a roller coaster of emotions and actions; others combine the two. I come to each book hoping to see how someone else handles risk, threats, obstacles. I have learned a lot from this reading. I have learned the difference between courage and foolhardiness, between taking risks to escape an untenablle situation versus taking a dare for no good reason. I have a fairly good idea of my definition of hero (and, sorry, Rock, it is NOT what you do on your show; those are not heroes; think about it).

Authors are some of my heroes: they take risks. They send their books out among us and wait to see what happens. That takes courage and grit and determination.

Teachers who stand up for best practices and question something that is handed to them in light of the kids they teach: they arre heroes as well. They take risks; they buck the system which, quite frankly, is scary these days. They do what is right for the kids they teach. They rock the boat. Fill in with your own metaphor: swim against the tide, challenge authority, etc.

I am here on Mackinac Island because teachers are taking time from summer recharging to attend a professional conference (hashtag is #mrasummer) and take new thinking back to the classroom in the fall. Tomorrow I wikl take a few risks andd talk about books without mentioning lexiles, levels, CCSS alignment and the rest. I might fall flat, but I am going to do it. I love books too much to sully them with all the hoopla CCSS demands.
Tags: books, engagement, reading, risks
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