I try to be honest with myself, I feel like it is the only true way I can grow. After all, how can I expect my students to accurately reflect on how they are as 7th graders if I don’t reflect on how I am as a teacher?
Lately, I have been thinking a lot about assumptions. The assumptions I make about the choices my students make. The assumptions I make about what will happen if I try something. The assumptions I make about the actions of others and what they mean for me. We all know what they say about assumptions and I believe it. Assuming does not really get us further with anything, instead, it plants needless doubts, worries, and even conflict that isn’t really there.
Yet, the thing about assumptions is that they are safe. That when we assume, we don’t have to find out, we can just think we know and then adjust our course accordingly. We can continue with whatever we have determined is the truth and not really question it, not really question ourselves. Our assumptions can take us far if we let it. Yet, I wonder how often I have incorrectly adjusted my thinking, my doing, my plans because of something that wasn’t really true? How often I have traveled down a path that I found necessary based on things that were not accurate? How much energy have I wasted thinking about the versions of events that I think occurred?
So the very first we can do with assumptions is to realize we have them. To really questions ourselves, and not in a punitive way, but to check how much of what we think is based on truth or our perception of the truth. To seek solutions and answers rather than more problems. In fact as one of my smart colleagues said today, “We are always great at being problem finders, but what about being problem solvers?”
I want to be a problem solver.
So are your assumptions stopping you from moving forward? From positivity? From having better relationships with your colleagues, with your students? In fact, I bet if you think about it, a situation probably will come to mind where assumptions you had did more damage than good. I know mine have, I cannot be alone in this, but that also means there is hope, and in hope, there is always a way to move forward.
If you like what you read here, consider reading any of my books; the newest called Reimagining Literacy Through Global Collaboration, a how-to guide for those who would like infuse global collaboration into their curriculum, was just released. If you are looking for solutions and ideas for how to re-engage all of your students consider reading my very first book Passionate Learners – How to Engage and Empower Your Students. I am currently working on a new literacy book, called Passionate Readers and it will be published in the summer of 2017 by Routledge. I also have a new book coming out December, 2017 . Also, if you are wondering where I will be in the coming year or would like to have me speak, please see this page.
1 thought on “Problem Finders or Problem Solvers?”
Something I adopted years ago, and has saved my tail on sooo many occassions: Assume the opposite. I credit John Weaver, a man whom I worked for 20+ years ago. I’ve looked throughout the years, with no success, to convey the multiple fruits from that seed planted so long ago. “Assume the opposite”. It’s made a significant difference in my approach to life, and people.