I just said to a friend the other day, “I could sit and read quotes all day!” One way that I like to push my own thinking is to reflect about quotes I read from other leaders and learners.
“There are only two ways of spreading light- to be the candle or mirror that reflects it.” ~Edith Wharton
I enjoy this quote because of the meaning of reflection via a mirror as well as via what we put out into the world for others to see. I think leaders need to be be both- sometimes the candle shining the light for others to find their way and sometimes the mirror highlighting the light of others.
“Happiness depends upon ourselves” ~ Aristotle
This is so true, but in the heat of a stressful moment I have to stop and remind myself of this. I am in control of my reaction to the people, events, challenges, and successes before me. I have the ability to see the good in people and situations. I can choose to be happy despite the unhappiness of others. I do not have to let others’ negativity affect me. This was a hard lesson for me to learn as a young leader, but with time and experience and relationships built on trust, I am in a better place with this idea.
“What I like most about change is that it’s a synonym for ‘hope’. If you are taking a risk, what you are really saying is, ‘I believe in tomorrow and I will be part of it.‘” ~ Linda Ellerbee
In challenging situations, you can hear many peoples interpretations of synonyms for hope. I like this perspective because it comes from such a positive place. As an organization is embarking on a large initiative that means big changes (i.e. Common Core implementation!), how amazing would it be if all stakeholders jumped on board and said, “I believe in tomorrow and I will be part of it”? What a powerful, collective statement that could be.
“If the person who talks the most learns the most, who is doing the most learning in your classroom [or workshop]?” ~ Anonymous
I can still remember the first time I heard this quote. I was a part-time teacher and a part-time Literacy Coach. The meaning of these words had an instant impact on me both as a teacher and a professional developer. I became acutely aware of how much I was talking instead of my students or participants. I made a dedicated effort to find a better balance in all those situations from then on. I am reminded of this when I visit classrooms and see teachers in our district working hard to find a 50/50 balance between teacher and student talk. I am also reminded of this when I attend certain workshops where the presenter spend the entire time (be it one hour or six!) talking AT us, instead of interacting WITH us.
Reflective questions to consider:
- What is your favorite quote?
- How do you use quotes to inspire or reflect?
Abecedary of Reflection