Certain versus Open

Posted by Ann Deaton Share Your Voice

Medium Experience with a role often leads to certainty, habit, and ease. And that's a good thing, right? Or is it? 

This morning I was reading a blog about experience in educators by Ariel Sacks. The common wisdom used to be that more experience yielded a more skilled teacher. According to Sacks, the current scuttlebutt is that new teachers are now seen as bringing "fresh" ideas while more experienced educators may be burned out. Sacks notes that these stereotypes are limiting, that many brand new teachers burn out quickly as they jump in with both feet and take on too much too fast. She also raises the possibility that more experience does not automatically lead to a person not having fresh ideas. 

Fascinating to recognize that you need both experience AND new ideas, and that the stereotypes can keep us from appreciating that we are better together---the skilled and the beginner. In education, as in any occupation, taking time to reflect on your practice can enable you to improve it. As a beginner, and as an expert, being willing to recognize that there is much you don't know is the most powerful path to learning. Are you willing to ask questions? Are you able to ask for help, and try on a new perspective? Certainty can be a comfort; openness can enable growth. 

Questions to journal (or reflect) on:

Where is your experience making you so certain that you've become stale?

Where are you such a passionate beginner that you are sure you have all the answers?

What will you do today to make time and space to reflect on your life and work, and to be open to the possibilities you see?

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Small Ann Deaton I am a leadership coach, and Managing Partner in Bounce. I love to coach and facilitate with individuals and systems experiencing significant change and growth. The clients I work with, regardless of their age or position, are talented and creative individuals willing to look with fresh eyes at their challenges and opportunities, and to take action based on their discoveries. As a result, they find that they are capable of accomplishing far greater things than they ever imagined. What do you want to accomplish today? Who do you want to be?


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