This info-graphic was a part of a PowerPoint presentation outlining “adult growth”. I came across this PowerPoint as a resource that was provided to me when our team was reflecting on our year and the programme, and it really got me thinking.
I am a “Self-Authoring” knower, on the way to becoming a “Self-Transforming” knower. I am confident in who I am, what I believe in, and what I practice, and I continue to engage in practices that help me grow as a professional and as a person. I am involved in school activities and I *try to* help my colleagues whenever I can. I will take on extra work, if I know it helps other people during a busy time.
Or so I thought.
As much as I hate to admit this, I reverted back to being an “Instrumental” knower this year.
It is my personal belief (and I hope this is true for many educators) that I make decisions and act upon them with the students’ best interest at heart. Sure, we may disagree on what “best interest” means, but let’s have a discussion. Don’t brush me aside, don’t be condescending, and please, be open to suggestions.
Or you know, ↑ was me before a simple disagreement and misunderstanding (which we cleared up) got me the label of “defiant and disobedient”.
When disagreements and questions for clarity are construed as “defiant and disobedient”, it is difficult to stay true to your values, beliefs, and best practices. When you feel like you are being set up for failure, it is challenging to be a risk-taker. When your actions are always scrutinized and evaluated and all you hear is negative feedback and be reprimanded even when most people are telling you you did the right thing, it is hard to not think about whether you ARE doing the right thing or not.
It’s problematic when people claim they are open to ideas, suggestions, and feedback, yet when constructive feedback and suggestions are given, they try to cut the conversation short. It’s problematic when decisions are made without any input from the members. It’s problematic when people tell you you are “draining to talk to”, to your face.
It’s problematic when people make you feel like you have to change your behaviour and values. It’s problematic when people make you afraid of doing the right thing, trying a new thing, or voicing your opinion because you never know when it’ll come back and bite you in the butt.