You’ve got to be in it to win it. Most people in American culture have heard this expression. It’s a great slogan for lotteries since you truly have no shot at winning unless you buy a lotto ticket. Investors on Wall Street aren’t going to make any money if they don’t put any in. People might argue that they don’t play the lottery because the odds aren’t in their favor. Some say they won’t invest in the stock market unless the risk is proven to be low. They feel the risk isn’t worth the reward.
Risk and reward are something that faces our schools every day. Administrators take risks with their budgets, cutting programs that aren’t going to reap benefits and saving those they think will help. Students take risks by guessing on tests and hoping they are right or risk not doing their homework in the hope that the teacher won’t be collecting it.
Teachers take risks too. They risk getting through their entire lesson by stopping to show the concept again to a student who just isn’t getting it. They stay late to make sure they have everything ready for the next morning and risk getting stuck in traffic on the beltway. They search the internet for ways to help their mildly autistic student keep up with today’s science lesson. Despite having tried every strategy their peers have recommended they keep searching even though they know that the search might be futile. Teachers take these risks because they know that it’s worth the rewards down the road. Risk doesn’t often come with instant gratification.
Unlike those Wall Street investors, teachers can’t just invest in students that have a low risk of failing. Teachers often invest their time in students who may only make a little progress. Good teachers always invest their time in all students whether failing or excelling. One thing a teacher can choose to invest in is their own education.
Teachers who invest their time in regular meetings with their peers, taking an education course, or attending a conference are in it to win it. They recognize that in order to better help their students succeed, they need to equip themselves with more teaching techniques, a strong understanding of learning disabilities, as well as classroom and behavior management strategies. A teacher with a full toolbox is like a Wall Street trader who has an investment opportunity with little to no risk.
Taking a Continuing Education course this summer can reap great rewards. Yes, most teachers have to pay out of their own pocket but in just one week they will have received 3 graduate level credits, a wealth of knowledge, tools they can immediately implement in their classroom, lesson plans to start the new school year off right, and an instructor and classmates who can be a network of great resources.
Not sure you want to take the risk? Think of it this way: What would happen if you don’t take our course Understanding Bullying: Managing Behavior and Teaching Tolerance? Nothing. But what could happen if you do take it? You’d be equipped to recognize when a student is bullying another and help prevent it from happening again. That sounds like winning to me.
The risk is worth the reward. You’ve got to be in it to win it. Take a Continuing Education course this summer.