Before Sandy the Hurricane rolled in, I spent my weekend 40’ in the air. Mr. Brooks and I knew the time had come to paint the outside of our house, as we have been living here for almost 14 years. While I was at school on Friday, he went off and rented a cherry picker that would extend up three stories on all sides of the house so we could paint the trim and the siding.
On my ride home from school, he called to tell me that although he could get pretty high in the machine, he realized quickly that he wouldn’t be able to reach the top half of the house.
It was up to me? Sure! Though I’ve felt a little scared on ladders, I never really considered myself afraid of heights. I quickly scrambled into the bucket and started to hoist myself up. Within 10 seconds of lifting myself up in that bucket, I knew I was in over my head. Yikes!!
Somehow, though, I managed to work through my fears, and painted for two days straight. By the time Sandy visited, the house was finished, and we were ready to face whatever she was ready to dole out.
This year, I know my students will face situations where they might be fearful. Whether those situations involve public speaking, asking questions or taking academic risks, I will be reminded of what it is like to power through something that is scary. Hopefully my experience high in air will allow me to better understand and appreciate their fears in the classroom.
I hope that all of our 204 families survived Sandy’s wrath with minimal damages and power outages. Experiencing scary storms is pretty common here in New England, making us all braver in the process.