Sunday, July 13, 2014

Potato Salad and Risk

Hello, all!

I hope you're having a great summer so far. My organization has come to a grinding halt; it seems there's always an emergency in the classroom these days. You know how it goes. We lost a few students to kindergarten, so we'll have lower numbers next week and hopefully I'll have some time then.

How many of you have heard of Danger and his potato salad?

It's the story of one man and his quest to crowdfund a $10 potato salad. Kickstarter, you see, recently changed their terms. They don't moderate projects anymore, instead opting to allow any project within reason. As a result, someone decided to Kickstart potato salad. He's not a chef; he's simply asking for $10 to make some potato salad. As a result of taking this risk, he has raised over $40,000.

Here's a link to an article:
and here's the link to the actual Kickstarter:

This got me thinking about risk. In the classroom, we teach our students risk all the time simply by challenging them in their natural play. "Can you build that tower higher?" "What happens if you do this?" We provide risk in a controlled environment because we know it's good for their development and self-confidence. If they fail, they try again, developing perseverance and self-confidence.

Children aren't the only ones who benefit from risk-taking, either. In adults, it can mean a new career, a new life partner, or simply reaping the rewards of an investment. When we take risks, our brain actually releases dopamine that gives us a sense of happiness. Taking risks actually makes us happier!

Now let me ask you: when was the last time you took a risk? When you built that tower up as high as it could go, even when it seemed like it couldn't hold another piece? Think about when that was, whether it was recent or long ago. What was the result of it?  Share your reflections in the comments below.

Happy Teaching!



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