Skip to main content

He Who Hesitates....Loses.

My husband has this wonderfully frustrating saying that he uses often: He who hesitates, loses. Did you hesitate to take out the garbage and miss the pick-up? He who hesitates, loses. Did you want the last slice of cake, but waited too long and someone else ate it? He who hesitates, loses. Did you have an idea that would have changed the world, but you hesitated and now someone else shared it first? He who hesitates, loses.

My one little word (ok, one little phrase) for 2018 is: Start somewhere. This is the year that I will not be overwhelmed by grand goals that seem difficult to reach or will not back down from a goal simply because I am too afraid to try. No, this year, I will start somewhere and see where the journey takes me, rather than overthinking the end result.

This morning, I realized just how important those words are. I have been sitting on a few ideas for a few years (yes, I said years). I talk about them, write about them in my private notebooks and dream what they might become. But, I have not done anything concrete (and public)  that will move me closer to them. As I opened my email and browsed my favorite blog posts, I stopped. One fantastic post was about one of the ideas that I had currently written in my ‘Start Somewhere’ notebook (more about that in a previous post). He who hesitates…..loses.

Normally, this would frustrate me and I would moan and groan for the day how someone else has my great idea, but today, I realized that I was the one who did not act. I did not start somewhere, so my ideas did not go anywhere. It was a powerful lesson at 6am in the morning. Start somewhere.

So, I am. I am writing this blog post to encourage readers to not just write those lovely ideas down as a reminder to reach them, but to actually start somewhere and do something about those dreams and ideas. Ignore the self-doubt. Ignore the haunting ‘what if’ statements and simply start somewhere. What is we shared our ideas and dreams with the world to lift up our ideas and hold ourselves more accountable? What if we owned those ideas and pledged to move closer to them? We can only imagine what could be until we actually have a go and give something a try, trusting that the journey is just as important as the destination.

So, readers, what dreams and ideas do you have that you have secretly jotted down, but might now share with the world? Comment and share your ideas so we can name them, own them and go after them. Sharing our writing with the world gives us confidence, a sense of professional power and a tribe of teachers just waiting to support us. As for me? I am moving forward with two projects that have just been waiting for me to take action: A project around teachers’ reading lives and a project around virtual literacy coaching. I’ll share more in a future post. What’s yours? Start somewhere and share your beautiful ideas here!


  1. Congratulations on owning it and moving forward, Stephanie. Have you read BIG MAGIC by Elizabeth Gilbert? She talks about this exact thing. Wishing you a 2018 of meeting all your goals -- both large and small. Keep moving forward!

  2. Certainly, this was a meaningful post for me to read!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

An Instructional Coaching Toolkit!

I have a thing for notebooks. And colorful markers. And sticky notes. I use them in all aspects of my literacy teaching and coaching. During coaching conversations, I often find myself providing on-the-spot demonstrations with these tools. I might engage teachers in a brief lesson on phonemic awareness and ask them to sort sounds. I might walk teachers through word building activities so they experience a new way of engaging students. I might introduce books to teachers to model how they might do the same for their students. I might even create game boards on sticky notes as visuals for teachers to support instructional planning. These demonstrations and notes act as instant and tangible tools to further teacher learning.
Over the years, I’ve compiled these artifacts to create coaching toolkits for the teachers I work with. My toolkit for ‘word work’ might include a picture of an anchor chart created with students, a list of words appropriate to the alphabetic feature students are wor…

Focus on Coaching Cycles

At this point in the school year, many of us are deep into our classroom coaching and engaging in coaching cycles with teachers. Just as coaching can look unique from building to building, our coaching cycles are often unique to our coaching context, our purpose for partnering and the goals and needs of each individual teacher: 1:1 coaching cycles, small group coaching cycles, student-centered coaching cycles and more. Each cycle typically has a pre-coaching conversation, classroom coaching/co-teaching/observation and then follow-up conversations as well.You can find theforms and templates I tend to use for classroom coaching here.
For me, my coaching cycles right now are in the context of my graduate education courses. Each week, I engage in a single coaching cycle with each of my students: lesson planning, observing lessons and coaching conversations. We repeat this for ten weeks of the course and the focus of our cycles shift and change over time. We also meet for small-group coac…

Leading By Learning

This summer, I vowed to be intentional in how I spent my time so that when the new school year arrived, I would feel refreshed and renewed. Admittedly, the summer seemed to fly by, but I did carve out time for my own professional learning. I read every day, I wrote in my notebook (almost) daily, tried my hand at gardening, spent time with my kids and just tried to get better at being me. Some days, I killed it. And other days, well….you know. So, as I head into another school year, I know that I need to be incredibly intentional in how I spend my time and ensure that I focus on my own learning as an educator. It is this learning that fuels my work: it lifts my reading spirits, fuels my writing heart and reminds me that leading the learning of others requires that I remain a continual learner myself.
It is this core belief that drives my teaching, coaching and leading this year. I am even more committed to my own professional learning to fuel my work and lead by example. I have purpose…