Fear of the Unknown

Chicken Little and the boy who cried wolf stand out in my mind as fairy tale alarmists–striking fear in the hearts of everyone they encountered. In the real world, I’ve heard people say, “This is the beginning of the end.” I heard it after the Oklahoma City Bombings, after 9-11, and after the theater shooting in Lafayette. I also heard it when Bruce Jenner became Caitlyn Jenner, when Donald Trump decided to run for President, and when we caught Sadaam Hussein. Anticipatory fear is sometimes worse than experiencing the thing we fear.

Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens. ~J.R.R. Tolkien

As I reflect over the past few months of planning and partnering with someone I met by Happenstance, I realize now that I’ve been a little antsy for the past month! Actually, I’m antsy all the time; it’s just part of who I am. Notice I said antsy rather than fearful — though I’ve seesawed between antsy-ness and fearfulness, I can’t say that I’ve truly been afraid.

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. ~2 Timothy 1:7

My life is just one continuous deadline. When I meet one at the 11th hour, there’s another right at the precipice of NOT being met. That’s a bit scary. So about six months ago, I met a lady at a conference.  She was a friend of a friend in the school where I work. Apparently, he had spoken to her about me several times — all good I presume because she approached me at this conference–wading through a sea of antsy educators, armed with only a description of me — slender, African-American woman with big hair. I guess it was easy to find me since I was probably the only person in the room of hundreds who matched that description. That was what I’d like to call the start of the beginning. I know it’s an awkward saying, and it probably won’t catch on, but a girl can hope, right?

That day I met Stacy, and we started planning a joint professional development day between our two schools. It was my sneaky way of getting our teachers to connect and build what I hope will be a lasting partnership with teachers in our feeder system.

Weeks of planning via Office 365 documents, e-mails, and quick phone calls culminated in an evening to remember. The one thing that I almost became fearful about was that teachers might not find value with what we had to offer.  Boy, was I silly for wasting time on those thoughts. After teaching two back-to-back sessions with a gifted colleague of mine, after posting and sharing a slew of resources to One Drive, and after listening to some of the rich conversations at dinner, I realized that my Chicken Little fears never came to fruition, but the start of the beginning of a powerful partnership did.

7 Thoughts

  1. Congratulations! I think it is normal for you to be antsy in this situation. Your collaboration came from your heart. If all that effort had been rejected by the teachers at your school, it would have been a personal rejection. But because it came from your heart, your devotion and passion ensured that it was some of your best work.

  2. Hooray for New Beginnings. Educators and School Administrators are the warriors at the front lines of our culture. With so much wrong going on out there, Reports on how well some of our children are learning valuable lessons in our public schools and putting the lessons into action fans my hope. That doesn’t happen without people like you, putting your hearts into the work. Oh, and you wrote about the experience very well, as always 😉

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