Are you open?

Out on an early morning walk, I spotted this shop window and couldn’t resist taking a photo.  It brought to mind…

  • people who say they are open to change but keep doing things in old ways.
  • people who say they are interested in others’ ideas, but don’t listen.
  • people who say they want to learn but then insist they don’t have time.
  • teachers who know it’s the 21st century, but are still reluctant to embrace technology.
  • teachers who talk about letting go, but make every decision in their classroom.
  • teachers who say they value collaboration, but insist their classroom is quiet.
  • teachers who ‘attend’ professional development but don’t apply anything they learned.
  • students who want to learn, but need to do so in unconventional ways.
  • learners who are filled with creative ideas but bound by constraints of curriculum.

Then when I inserted the photo here, I noticed my own reflection in the window. It reminded me that the ‘open/closed’ dichotomy applies to me too. Don’t we all at times think ours is the best perspective, the most efficient way or the right answer?

It’s a reminder to noticenot just to hear or half-hear, but to listen to and think about what our colleagues are saying. And what our students are saying. And what they are not saying. And what we ourselves are saying…


17 thoughts on “Are you open?

  1. Thank you for your post, Edna. Self-reflection is so important. Taking action after that long look is also critical. We should always be open, growing, and improving. 🙂 Thanks for the reminder!

    Have a great day!



  2. What a great reflection! I must admit the photo caught my eye at first. But then, your words rng true not only for people I know but also for me. Thank you for sharing!


  3. Excellent post. Personal reflection has to become an ingrained part of our daily decision making process. We should encourage others to “be open” to positive changes, we just have to be sure that we practice what we preach. Thanks for the reminder!


  4. Thanks so much for another thoughtful post and reminding us the importance of reflection. Lifelong learning is easy to say but at times difficult to do because change for many is hard. Reflection is a way to privately bring difficulties into focus. The choice is then up to the individual.


  5. Your last comment on listening to our colleagues rings true for me. Recently we learnt to use an ATLAS protocol at our leadership meeting so that we heard each other and gave the presenter leader some time to heard dialogue about their work. Its hard to stop hearing ourselves in our head and therefore the need to justify rather than be open to new perspectives. Mark


  6. A great thought provoking image…Am I really “open” to what is happening? I do try to be…and I am pleasantly surprised at times… Am I hearing what is being said? or what I “know they will say” ? Am I seeing what is really happening or only what I happen to see? Am I doing what I say I do or just when demonstrating to others? There is only one truth….


  7. Thanks for that list I think I might pin it somewhere in my room. Also people that say they are sorry and then say “but I….’ Just say sorry, don’t excuse yourself own up to your actions.


  8. It is so important to take that look inwards and see how it is affecting us. I can be so stubborn about utilizing technology and doing things my own way, that sometimes it is hard to accept other ideas. What I have learned to do is listen to my intuition about what feels right. This is great because it allows me to stay focused on what I need to do, but also to be open to other ideas and suggestions. Since I tutor kids in reading online, my situation is a little different than the average teacher in the classroom, but it is definitely the same concept. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful picture and wonderful reflection.


  9. Edna,
    It is so easy for educators, myself included, to merely say things but not completely carry them out (your list of 9 contradictions). It is appropriate to have significant posts such as this one to promote self reflection and really take a look at where we as educators truly stand, and not where we think we stand. Also, your 2nd to last paragraph makes me think of a great quote from @UMAKADIFF “Best practice should not be confused with the practice you are best at.” Thanks for another great post!


  10. I was recommended your blog by a friend and immediately like what I see! I especially like the reference to yourself in the “mirror” of the shop window – there are a lot of times I feel like the uncomfortable truth about myself is the only way to move forward. I started this day facing an uncomfortable truth about myself, and seeing this reflection of you (or me!) in the closed/open shop window has egged me out of panic mode and into action mode. Thank you!


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