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Education, Leadership


Thanks to Tom Altepeter (@tomaltepeter) for inspiring this post with his one-word resolution: Serve (Intercultural Responsiveness).  For more explanation, see One Word 2011 (@gritandglory).

My one word for 2011 is…courage.

All too often, I allow fear to stand in the way of what I should be doing (both personally and professionally).  Fear is a natural instinct, and to a certain degree, a healthy one.  However, I am guilty of allowing fear to influence my ability to take reasonable, and sometimes necessary, risks.  My fear can result in the failure to act (action paralysis), and when that happens, it has a negative impact on colleagues and my family.

David Truss wrote a blog post that addresses this idea from a professional standpoint, Going to the Hard Places.  Talking to someone about how they need to improve is not easy, but something that needs to be done if we truly have the best interest of students at heart.  Unfortunately, education is ripe with examples of fear impeding progress.  Those who know me personally, know how fear impacts my demeanor and personality…again, there would be no shortage of examples.

This year, I choose to be courageous. Courageous in addressing issues at school.  Courageous in the decisions I make that impact others.  Courageous in standing up for those who need assistance.  Courageous in attitude in my personal life.  I owe that to myself and those I care about.

Courage is my word for 2011.

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear.  ~Mark Twain


About azjd

Junior high principal by day, aspiring difference maker, and Jedi in my own mind. Act justly. Love mercy. Walk humbly.


10 thoughts on “Courage

  1. Thanks for your honesty and exposure to WHO you are. Fear is something I battle as well.

    Posted by angierumsey | January 2, 2011, 2:25 am
  2. Thank you for this post – I applaud your courageous honesty! Who, amongst us has never felt fear?!
    Life is meant to be lived – children don’t come into the world afraid, they LEARN it!
    As adults, we become afraid, out of fear of being judged/making mistakes/not appearing ‘perfect’, and on and on.
    Just THINK of all the masterpieces that have never been painted, written, sung, played, because people lacked the courage to make a start, to BELIEVE in themselves (and others) and their abilities!
    As educators, it’s our JOB to encourage, help bring forth and nurture each child’s uniqueness, talents, and gifts to the world.
    Franklin D. Roosevelt was right when he said, ‘There is nothing to fear but fear itself.’ However, my all time favourite quote on freedom from fear, states:

    ‘Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you
    didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, Sail away
    from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream.’
    ~ Mark Twain [Samuel Langhornne Clemens] (1835-1910)

    Posted by Nuala O'Hanlon | January 2, 2011, 2:28 am
  3. Yes, COURAGE! great post! My One Word for 2011 is

    Posted by Grant Jenkins | January 2, 2011, 4:01 am
  4. Love the honesty. One of the most powerful things for a
    leader to do is to be honest. @mlandahl

    Posted by Matt Landahl | January 2, 2011, 12:43 pm
  5. such a great word. your choice to live courageously is going to lead you through some rough waters… but the other side will be well-worth it.

    for me, courage usually means i need to “do it afraid”. but it’s an active expression of faith overcoming fear.

    it’s gonna be a great year for you. a great year.

    Posted by Alece | January 2, 2011, 5:23 pm
  6. I am putting together a list of the top 100 administrator blogs and your site was recommended by another blogger on the list. I was wondering if I could ask you a few questions to include more information about you and your blog in my article. Please e-mail me and include the title of your blog in the e-mail, thanks!

    Posted by Alexis | January 3, 2011, 12:54 am
  7. That’s a great word, Jeff. Courage will bring you to and through some difficult situations. Have faith, my friend, and always stay courageous. Your actions will not only inspire yourself, but others as well.

    Posted by Kenny Silva | January 4, 2011, 5:54 am


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Jeff Delp

Junior high principal by day, sports enthusiast, technology fanatic and jedi in my own mind. Striving to be a difference maker!
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