The Man in the Arena (Excerpt from a speech by Theodore Roosevelt)
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
Seeing as tomorrow begins my journey with the Innovation Academy, I thought now would be a good time to reflect before I embark on this new chapter in my life. The reason I like the quote above so much, is that it reminds me of the importance of being the person “who does actually strive to do the deeds.” It is far too easy to stand back, to be the critic and point out the flaws in other peoples plans. On the other hand, it is much more difficult to get into “the arena” and risk failure and defeat. Despite this difficulty, I am excited to be stepping into a new arena. I also recognize that I would be lying if I said that I was not nervous about this journey that I am about to begin.
Tomorrow is the culmination of a great deal of time spent both thinking and reading about education. With the Innovation Academy, I know that I will finally be able to put all of this reading and reflection into practice. I am also aware that there will be failures and shortcomings along the way. What gives me strength, is knowing that I am trying. I am excited to be stepping “into the arena,” to be spending myself in a “worthy cause” and to be surrounded by an amazing group of students and teachers on this journey. We may fail sometimes. We may err and come up short. But the important part is that we will be in the arena, striving for something that we all believe in.