photo © 1919 Florida Memory | more info (via: Wylio)A few years ago I met a new school administrator. This administrator had some innovative ideas about helping her school move forward. As we were talking, she started talking about how she spent her time. She spent the majority of her days observing her teachers. She believed if she was not watching them, then they would not perform well. I am not an educator, but I knew some of the teachers in the school. I found it hard to believe that all were teaching poorly. As the administrator continued to talk I realized that she believed that her way was the only correct way to teach.
Truth was and is that this educator was un-teachable. She kept talking. I wondered how I might suggest that there was redeeming value and lessons to be learned from at least some of the teachers. The administrator kept talking. I realized that she was so convinced of her own rightness that she would never be able to value anyone else’s ideas or opinions. She could not see that others may have ideas worth considering, other ways of doing the same thing, and more understanding of teaching.
I learned a lot from that administrator. I learned about trying to keep myself open to the ideas of others. I learned that while I think all of my own ideas are good, there are lots of other ideas out there. If I am going to learn from others, I have to be able to hear and consider their ideas. I also learned that there are many ways to achieved the same results. I hope you stay open to the possibilities of new ideas and new ways of doing things. I hope we all value the contributions of others. I hope that administrator realizes the value of others.