Daring Greatly


A new year brings forth abounding NEWs.  New students, new classes, new subjects, new roles, new learning and the NEWs (not to be confused with the news) keep coming, and they are personal to our own experiences.  One way that I love to embrace the NEWs that lay ahead is with a mantra or theme which will help me challenge myself and frame the year.

Two years ago I/we embraced Kid Presidents message shared in Pep Talk for the Heroes (LINK). We challenged each other to #BeMoreAwesome:

  • Be More AWESOME in Pursuit of Your Own Growth.
  • Be More AWESOME in Your Care for the Gifts We Have.
  • Be More AWESOME in Your Pride at Being a Davis Lion.
  • Be More Awesome in The Way We Treat the Members of Our Community.

Last year we used the powerful message delivered by Mark Bezos TED Talk (LINK) to focus on the theme #EVERYDAY acts of kindness and heroism.

  • EVERYDAY presents the opportunity to share kindness with a friend.
  • EVERYDAY presents the opportunity to stretch ourselves and learn something new.
  • EVERYDAY presents the opportunity to take pride in yourself and your surroundings by taking care of both.
  • EVERYDAY be and become the person you can be.
  • EVERYDAY know that I and the amazing team of teachers are here to nurture and support these achievements.

This year my inspiration comes from Brene’ Brown’s book Daring Greatly,  as well as the impetus for the title of the book,  Teddy Roosevelt’s “Man in the Arena” Speech (LINK).

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly”

This powerful message about continuing to grow and evolve is a perfect fit for our school as this year we will see the efforts of our Next Stage Campaign as we open the doors of our amazing new performing arts center, cafeteria, sanctuary, and adaptive learning spaces. Our students, teachers, parents, and our whole community are in the arena and are daring greatly each day to make this school the best it can be. Early in Brene Brown’s book she poses two powerful questions which I believe tie in directly to this speech and I plan to use as the key reflection tools behind our Daring Greatly theme.

  1. What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?
  2. What’s worth doing even if you fail?

In a year during which our students and school community will undoubtedly meet “the triumph of high achievement”, I want to challenge all members of the community to answer these questions, embrace the lessons and learning that come from failure, and most importantly to Dare Greatly.

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