I did something today that I HATED. I have this new business opportunity that I can’t take on at this point in my life and so I trying to find someone in my life that is interested and willing to run with it. (It’s totally unrelated to language teaching.) I scheduled a bunch of phone calls for this week to talk to my friends that I think would be a great fit for this opportunity, and today was my first serious business call. I planned it three days ago and I have been dreading it ever since. I spent all morning completely preoccupied thinking about my impending appointment. The time finally arrived. I followed through and I did it. I felt so uncomfortable through the whole thing and I didn’t do it well. It felt like failure and it probably sounded like failure…but it was not failure. Failure would have been not doing it at all. Failure would be not trying again tomorrow…and try again tomorrow I will!
I wonder if you have ever felt the same way about trying out a new activity in your language class. It has been a long time since I have stepped as far out of my comfort zone as I did today; I had all but forgotten what that feels like. I had forgotten what a big ‘ask’ it is when I say to you, “Just give CI a try!”
“Just give it a try??!” It’s not always that easy, is it? The fear can almost be crippling. We run over and over and over our plans in our head—I even role played the call with my four year old, guys!!—and all we want is for the time to come so we can be done with it but in the same moment we want to call the whole thing off, call in sick, run away because it’s TERRIFYING!
If you have been thinking about Dipping Your Toes in CI but are paralyzed by fear—fear of the unknown, fear of failure—whatever it may be, I want you to know today that you can conquer that fear with belief. I wrote out my “Big Why” on a big piece of paper and I have been reading it over and over and over again all week. WHY am I dedicating any of my precious time to sharing this business? WHY am I sending my stress level through the roof? I don’t need this opportunity, but I know that I know someone who does. I have a mission and a vision and by golly I am going to walk it out. Also throw up because I’m so nervous…but walk it out anyway.
How could making your classes more input-rich, more comprehensible, and more personalized impact your students’ lives? How could it impact YOUR life? Think about it, write it down, and internalize it. Then DO IT, even though it’s hard. Next time, it will be easier….you’ll do better…eventually, what was once uncomfortable will be as easy as slunking down into your favorite armchair with a hot cup of tea.
I believe in you!