Risky Business

How did you learned this lesson?


What is risk? I believe it is getting in a situation that pushes someone to go slightly (or more) out of risktheir comfort zone to accomplish a task. I guess you could also say it’s doing something you haven’t done before.

Risk Taking in Education

I’ve been thinking lately about how to teach my students about taking risks and learning that failure is ok. It’s part of the learning process. Everybody does it!

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not talking about failing the class. I’m talking about misunderstanding of a concept or not doing a particular skill correctly.

The problem about talking about taking risks or not being afraid to fail is they believe that exact myth. They are scared to fail or try something new that might make them fail because they have been so trained that failing is bad.

An Atmosphere of Risks

The best way I can think of to teach this is by letting my students see me fail and/or tell them stories of how I have failed in the past. After they see that failure is ok ask them to share situations where they have failed in the past and what they learned from it. Then I can put them in specific situations in class where there will be a big chance of failure.

If we want our students to learn to take risks we have to make our class atmosphere a risk taking atmosphere. Risk has to be planned for on purpose. Students have to be put in uncomfortable situations until they become comfortable. Then we have to find a new way to push them forward again.

Risky Situations

So, what are some situations that students many students find uncomfortable or risky?

  • Giving a presentation in front of the class
  • Performing a new skill
  • Working in a group
  • Taking assessments
  • Creating projects

Just to name a few.

What do you do?

What do you think? How do you put your students in situations that might be difficult or risky? How do you create this type of atmosphere for learning in your class?


Make sure to further the discussion in the comments! I really want to know what you think.

Remember: Physical Education – Where Mind and Body come Together!