I have to admit that when the time comes around for me to submit a blog post, I get a bit anxious. I struggle with trying to find something to write about that I think students, parents, and staff could relate to or even want to read. With the beginning of the new school year still relevant and “on learning” being the focus, I went through all kinds of possibilities for the article. I contemplated writing about various theories on learning and the benefits or drawbacks of each, but really—you could Google that. I always love to talk about what AAS values “on learning” so that was a strong contender, but really—you could scroll through our website for that information. I even had an inspirational moment of delving into the great philosophers’ thoughts on learning. As much as I love the teachings of Aristotle and his teachers, I would not want to claim to be worthy of analyzing their teachings. With all of these thoughts, doubts, and insecurities swirling around in my head, I began to wonder. What is it that makes this difficult?
Fear of vulnerability?
Fear of judgment?
Fear of failure?
All of these or other fears can go through our minds as we navigate experiences, environments, and even relationships. Yet, I believe that there is an essential element that helps us have the power and ability to continue to drive forward despite these fears — that element is trust.
With trust, we create a sense of safety to overcome these fears as we navigate environments, experiences, and relationships. This motivates us to share our thoughts and listen to other’s thoughts and opinions. It allows us to speak up for ourselves and for those who may not have the power to speak up for themselves. It gives us the drive to step out of our comfort zones and be challenged. It allows us to fail and succeed and to still be OK with either result. Viewing the world through a lens of trust, helps us put aside our egos and focus on creating an environment where everyone can thrive. We celebrate our differences and open ourselves to the endless possibilities of learning and collaboration. We are flexible, open, and adaptable. We minimize judgment and increase appreciation. With trust, we are able to learn, to engage, to try, to thrive, to overcome, and to succeed. As our students embark on another school year we want to ensure that they feel a sense of trust to do all these things. We know that they (as we) will be faced with fear along the way. We want our students to never let their fears stop them and to always push the boundaries of possibilities. We strive to approach the world through a lens of trust and ensure that AAS is a place that welcomes success and failure as part of learning.