I only spent a few days getting to know @sophgermain at #TMC13, but finding a kindred spirit who worked at Hogwarts-in-Troy prompted me to join her #shutupandduckface Instagram event last March and this, my discomfort with selfies notwithstanding.  So when I read her blog post Things that scare me, I somehow began typing this, even though it is Sunday evening and my work is not finished.  I used to be afraid – truly anxious – of so many things.  I still am, but I have faced a lot of scary stuff, and realize the fear is a construct that I have some control over.  But there’s still a list, for sure.  So here I go.

  1. I am afraid I’ll never be a really good teacher.  No matter how hard I work, how many resources I hunt down, how many blogs I read and ideas I try to incorporate into my practice, I frequently feel like I am not doing enough, reaching enough students, eliciting enough critical thinking, or raising student achievement.
  2. I am afraid I will run out of time and have worked too hard. I love my job, and I love math.  But I also love quilting, and spending time with friends, and reading, and movies, and exercising (well, I love its effects, anyway).  But I spend way too much time on those first two – work and math – and I know very well that our time is not infinite.
  3. I am afraid of the world my children are inheriting. This world is a scary place.  Nothing gives me greater joy than their talent and success; the flip side of that is a fear of the problems they will face.
  4. I am afraid of severe weather.  I think this is a result of watching This Wizard of Oz as a small child.  No shit.
  5. Speaking of running out of time…I am afraid my cancer will recur.  I have wonderful health care, and an oncologist I might run away with some day.  But anyone who has ever had cancer lives with this fear, and some of us have more regular reminders of it than others.  The good news is that the fear keeps me honest, and forces me to confront things I might otherwise avoid if I was under the illusion that I had time to spare.

Thanks, Annie – love your posts, and love that you get me to try things.

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