Don’t be like the Groundhog!

If it is cloudy when a groundhog emerges from its burrow on this day, it will leave the burrow, signifying that winter-like weather will soon end. If it is sunny, the groundhog will supposedly see its shadow, get scared, and retreat back into its burrow. The winter weather will continue for six more weeks.

Check out more in my Groundhog’s Day Power Point Lesson

Of course Groundhog Day is a holiday celebrated on Feb. 2 in the United States and Canada. So yesterday I was thinking about the silly groundhog and I was thinking about some of my students and their fears.  Fear of failure.  Fear of rejection. Fear of being wrong. Fear of critiscism.  I’m sure there are others!  Many times they are just like the Groundhog.  It’s just a shadow. Smoke and mirrors! Ignore it and take a chance! I talk often about the hockey player on a poster in my classroom.  The caption says, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”  Every year we pick two students from each class to be in Student council.  In third grade I pick the two people.  In fourth, any student who is interested writes a paragraph about why they might be good at student council and reads it to the class.  Then we vote. This year one of the students who would have been phenomenal at it wrote the paragraph, went up in front of the class, and then froze, changed her mind, and sat down.  I was flabbergasted! I had no idea what to do. The question is, how as educators and parents do we get students past this? A safe environment? Lead by example? Reassurance?  Do we force them? What are your thoughts on this?  Write me a comment!

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  1. #1 by Seaberry on February 4, 2011 - 3:30 am

    When I did my internship years ago at a Primary school in London, as an American I was very impressed with their educational system. One component of thei day that I liked was their morning Assembly. Every student in the school attended and each week a different class was responsible for presenting the program. It consisted of the announcements, songs, and then some kind of presentation of what the class was learning. Every student participated. I had 4-7 year olds. I couldn’t help but think that by the time those childrn got older, those children would not be afraid of public speaking. Start young, do it often, involve everyone. That was my experience.

    • #2 by Anonymous on February 4, 2011 - 3:35 am

      That is great advice! I think that may have been the first time my 4th graders had to speak “formally” in front of the class.

  2. #3 by Elliottjn on February 4, 2011 - 7:00 pm

    I love it. The way you put this all together with the groundhog, with fears, like our shadow,etc.To get past the fear of speaking in public (which I still don`t love doing) is all of what you said, exampl, reassurance, safe enviornment, and then many times of getting up in front and speaking.The best way to get over our fears is to face them.

    • #4 by Jjelliott01 on February 4, 2011 - 7:13 pm

      That’s weird we have the same last name.. Anyway, I only know two types of people who actually “Like” public speaking. Politicans and Pastors…

  3. #5 by Joshua Bevan on February 4, 2011 - 11:10 pm

    Great analogy! All of my fears are just projections of my self — my own shadow.
    I love it!
    I just posted a video last week about the biological origins of fears of embarrassment. Let me know what you think.

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