Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Quote-A-Day: Day 324

There is much to be learned from simply closing our mouths and observing.  #QuoteADay #Day324 #edchat #edu #satchat #NYedchat #ASCDL2L

This morning I had a great opportunity to visit the classroom of a colleague who is truly an innovative educator.  Jasper Fox, a science educator in the Lakeland School District, had invited me to come by and watch him work with students on a lesson on assembly line design and optimization.  Jasper’s goal was to provide for student-focused inquiry, and experiment with a number of practices inherent in the Next Generation Science Standards through this process.

I'll leave Jasper to share details from the lesson itself and what he learned (you can see a few pics/videos in my Twitter/Vine feed).

Instead, I’ll take just a moment to comment on the importance of all leaders and learners taking the time to stop talking and simply observe.

As someone who loves to talk (and write), I can sometimes get lost in my own thinking.  While it is important for us to reflect, and to reflect regularly, we need to be careful not to lose the opportunity to simply sit back and observe.

Today provided a great opportunity for me to do that.  I was able to focus on what Jasper was doing, interact with his students, and engage in discussion with him afterwards about his practice and education in general.

Not once did I have to reflect on my own practice. 

And in this case, that was a great thing.

The opportunity to spend time outside our own skin is incredibly important.  Sometimes, to make ourselves better, we need to engage in conversation with others about helping them to continuously improve.  Not only did I reflect on science and character education on the ride back to my office, but I shared with our Regional Science Coordinator the work that Jasper was doing, in hopes of connecting the two of them together in the future.

If we would only take more time to listen, and less time to speak, we would be better able to hear ideas that can make all of us better leaders and learners.

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