Navigating risk as a teacher - Pushing The Edge Blogpost

Innovation 101: Navigating Risk as a Teacher

I’m kicking off a Tips and Insights Series dedicated to Innovation Strategy & Mindset. In this first post: Taking Risks.

Part A – Getting Risky

Risk was front of mind in my Pushing The Edge chat with Michelle Snyder and Victoria Curtis. We discuss three aspects of risk-taking:

  1. Giving ourselves permission to take risk. Working with our mindset is key here.
  2. Getting permission from our leaders or administrators to take risks. Here we focus on the building of relationships.
  3. Taking risks without permission. Here we consider how to protect ourselves (and our jobs).

There many tips and insights shared in this episode. Listen from the 11:56 minute mark. 
(The early section of the episode focuses on personalizing the curriculum.)


Part B – Everyday Risk-Taking

Stormy, Stormy night….

 Let’s risk it – we’ve been stuck indoors all day.

It’s getting towards dinner time. We’re both starving.

We check the weather radar, there’s a few bursts of rain heading our way.

We put on our rain gear.

And just as we venture out the door…. ……it starts drizzling again.


Image: lilli2de

My partner suggests that we head back. I say, “let’s keep going,” since we’d we’d been stuck indoors all day.

So off we go.

As we head along the main street, it absolutely buckets down, straight at us.

My umbrella is blown inside out. Even with our coats on we’re getting totally soaked.

You know what though. It’s bloody exhilarating, exciting.

The sensation of the storm brings back vivid memories of a holiday not so long ago:

Trekking through a stunning coastal locale – getting drenched like we’ve never been drenched before.

It was, to put it bluntly, bloody brilliant. The sensations of those moments are with me like it was yesterday.

And those storms (that we’d stepped out in) – they continued right into the morning…

Risk It – Story #2:

Today we’re breakfasting at a local cafe, South of Johnston. My partner checks the weather radar as we finish eating. More rain is on the way.

We start heading home. While we’re walking I suggest taking a longer trek home.

My partner though is more inclined to a shorter route. Ok then (CUE: Greg’s grumpy look).

Just as I think we’re taking the quick route though, he suddenly heads further north.

YAY, I think to myself (CUE: big, big smile from Greg).

He’s taking the longer way home. He’s risking the storm.

As we reach the next corner though, he rounds it.


It’s not the long route afterall.

Navigating risk as a teacher - Pushing The Edge Blogpost

Risky Take-Aways:

Taking a risk can transport you into new territory – where the opportunities for learning are greater still.

It can take time to build up steam though, to take that step over the line of familiarity, to new opportunities and possibilities

[Tweet “RISK IT, CHANCE IT, give it a WHIRL.”]

Sometimes we do risk it but only briefly. 

We duck back in, or head for the nearest exit at the first sign of possible calamity or negativity.

Dare to stay the course. Trust in yourself.

Sometimes taking a risk means getting drenched, absolutely soaked to the skin.

Yet that moment of drenching can be ‘oh so invigorating.’

It can shake you (at least temporarily) out of the monotony and numbness of your business as usual – where new ideas can be sparked.

Sometimes it’s about striking out on your own.

Some people may be with you initially – then lose their feet – or perhaps they’ve got other needs or priorities to attend to.

That’s okay. Be grateful for the time they’ve worked with you. And forge on yourself.

If it’s something that you’re passionate and vocal about,  you’ll soon have more voyagers with you.

Even better, invite others to take the journey with you.

Sometimes little by little is best in relation to risk.

Just dare to go to that next corner. See that it’s okay and then venture a little further.

Confine the risk and gradually expand. See your comfort zone grow bigger – as well as your experience and skill-set – as you stretch yourself more and more.  


  1. Check out my Innovation 101 Page
  2. Check out my Make Change Happen Resource Page
  3. Check out my Teaching Resource Page


  1. Mohammed Monsur April 8, 2014
    • Greg Curran April 8, 2014
  2. Kathy Alexander April 8, 2014
    • Greg Curran April 8, 2014
  3. Alan Thwaites April 9, 2014
  4. Greg Curran April 10, 2014
  5. Jen Moes April 20, 2014
    • Greg Curran April 20, 2014
  6. Susie Reilly June 7, 2015
    • Greg Curran June 9, 2015