My daughter learned how to ride her bike without training wheels this weekend. (It was pretty awesome!) So today, after dinner, we went for the last ride of the summer on our usual route, around the block and through the park. There are many places with bumpy sidewalks, little inclines and today, lots of puddles. All summer with her training wheels, she was nervous on the unsteady ground. She’d often get off of her bike and walk over the places where she felt unsure. But, today, on two wheels, she rode right over all of the bumps, pedalled through the inclines, and sped right through the puddles. In fact, she sought them out. “I LOVE those bumps!” she squealed.
As I watched her joyfully ride through the neighborhood with her new found confidence, my feelings were bittersweet. The summer is over, but tomorrow on the first day of school, there is a brand new beginning. Just like my daughter with her training wheels, many students start school feeling nervous, unsure, and insecure. (Let’s be honest, a lot of teachers do too!) However, as their teachers, we get to help them navigate through their challenges so they will eventually discover that they sometimes need to feel nervous, unsure, and insecure in order to learn and grow. Maybe then, they can start to seek out the things that are just outside of our comfort zone, and gain confidence with something new (even if its just getting through the first day of school!) In other words, LOVE the bumps.