Outside My Comfort Zone? Way Out.

Table set for the Passover Seder
Photo by Gila Brand, via Wikipedia

I am a creature of habit.

I read the Sunday New York Times Magazine on Saturday.

I always put on my right shoe first.

At Passover a song is sung that talks about all the good things God did for the Jews. If He only brought us out of slavery, Dayenu, it would have been enough.

My principal decided to push me out of my comfort zone this year.  He says I will become a better teacher as a result


I’ve already written about how, for the first time in my career, I’ll be teaching general education students.


I’ll be teaching a grade I’ve never taught.


I’m going to teach differently by integrating technology into my teaching.


I’m not going to have my own classroom.


I’m sharing a room with three other teachers.

Dayenu, dayenu, dayenu.

There’s stepping outside one’s comfort zone and then there’s what I’m looking at as I look forward to the arrival of students next week.

I know its about those students, not about me, but I wonder how much more effective a teacher they would have if I were more comfortable at work.

I’ll let you know as the year goes on.

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8 Responses to Outside My Comfort Zone? Way Out.

  1. Hadass Eviatar says:

    Remember that your PLN is here to support and cheer you on, Deven. Don’t be afraid. You are an awesome teacher and you will figure it out.

    • Deven Black says:

      I am bouyed by my PLN every day and value their wisdom, encouragement and friendship daily. Thank you, Hadass, for being part of that cherished group.

  2. That does put you out of your comfort zone! I know you’ll do well. I’ll be excited to read more about your year Deven!

  3. I am in a similar situation (by my choice.) While we want to do what is best for our students each year we have to remember that our body of work includes those that come next year, and the next. If you are stretched and pushed you may very well become a better teacher to the benefit of this years class and for those that come later. I regret how poor a teacher I was in the past, but the journey has helped me become what I am today.

    • Deven Black says:

      There is nothing you should be regretting, William. We are not born perfect beings and can only strive toward perfection, not attain it. I am sure you did all you were capable of for each student at the time that student had you as a teacher. That you are a better teacher now is testament to your seriousness about your craft. Celebrate that you are continuing to improve, not mourn that you were not as good in the past.

  4. Magpie Ima says:

    Ack! Now I have Dayenu stuck in my head!

    I hate to say it but I was pushed into a ridiculous teaching situation this summer and it seems to have been a catalyst for me in my professional life. This is not an endorsement for overcrowded classrooms and doubled (unpaid) workloads, but maybe you’ll be stretched in a good way. I sure hope so.

  5. Katje Lehrman says:

    Teaching (in and of itself) was an enormous leap out of my comfort zone. But it was a very ‘happy accident'(as my high school art teacher would have called it).
    I think you’ll be very pleasantly surprised by general ed students.
    You’ll have to keep us posted!
    And thank you for Dayenu in my head replacing the song for the 121.1 psalm.

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