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I still have an irrational fear of getting into trouble. I was sent to the principal’s office four times in my whole academic career. Once in elementary, twice in 7th grade, and then again as a sophomore.

My kindergartner has the same heightened fear of the principal’s office and getting into trouble.

The path usually doesn’t end well for students who are often sent to the principal’s office and start to lose their fear.

I don’t think that fear is necessarily bad.

Here’s what I do know about that fear. The fear of being caught doing something bad is readily addressed in our schools and families. The fear of taking risks and perhaps having it turn out brilliant or a miserable failure is entirely different. It’s just as real but often not addressed.

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