Thursday, March 26, 2020

Courage is Strength and a Choice

This month I am participating in the 13th Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge. Visit Two Writing Teachers for more information.

A topic I've been thinking about recently is courage. Courage is strength and it comes in many forms. It can be big or small or loud or quiet. Courage is extraordinary acts, but also every day ones, as well. It's running into danger, but also a step forward into uncertainty or a breath in the face of doubt.

Recently, I took a survey that helped me to identify my character strengths. I don't need that survey to tell me that exhibiting courage is not one of them. I'm not a risk-taker. I am most comfortable with the familiar. I like to know what is coming next. I have a strong drive for perfection, so I tend to follow the rules and play it safe by sticking to what I know best.

As a teacher these days, I feel that I am in, what is for me, uncharted waters. Although I believe there is always a need to grow and learn professionally, generally I am pretty confident in my abilities to provide the best literacy instruction possible to my students. My confidence to do this virtually is at about zero. Teaching and learning does not feel familiar to me right now and it all feels uncomfortable. Whether it's a strength of mine or not, I need to summon all my courage to navigate the path of what is our new reality of schooling.

Don't Worry, Little Crab by Chris Haughton
In Don't Worry, Little Crab by Chris Haughton, Little Crab and Big Crab stand at the edge of the ocean. Little Crab takes very slow, hesitant steps while thinking that maybe going in the ocean is not such a great idea after all and even asking to go home. Big Crab stands by Little Crab's side and provides encouragement the entire time. When an enormous wave whooshes the two crabs deep into the ocean, Little Crab finds himself in a world of wonder and adventure that he didn't know existed. Today and tomorrow and for however long it takes until we return to teaching and learning as we know it, I have to be Little Crab. One step forward and then another. Courage is a strength, but it's also a choice.


  1. I like the creative way you connected your thoughts with a book, Lisa. Courage is a word we all need to feel in these days of quarantine life. Courage to live and be safe, courage to teach so the children will remember how important learning is, courage to feel hope.

    1. You are right - there are so many different ways we need to be courageous right now!

  2. Lisa,
    Yes, courage is needed in these next weeks. That is for sure. I want to be Little Crab and Big Crab. When I get bumped and squeezed along this journey, I want to be the one who comes alongside and encourages the others who are also just stressed out. I don't want to get bumped and spill out a toxic mess. I'm started my fifth week of this, and it already feels like a grind. There are lots of opportunities to practice courage.

  3. Love, love, love your post and need to read this book. Your words about courage are the perfect words for me to share with my sons as we discuss empathy and ways to be a friend. The way you discussed courage is perfect. Thanks for the inspiration!