Don’t snuff out this candle’s flame

Recently I was accused of being “judgy”.

I don’t know, maybe I am. A bit. But I judge myself just as much as I judge others (probably more so actually) and these judgements force me to do better and to be better. So I don’t think judging is such a bad thing.

When I mentor beginning teachers or preservice teachers, I ask them to judge me too. It seems unfair that the reflections on practice should go only one way.

One of the things about myself I have been made aware of is that I say OK a lot when I teach. I try really hard to reel this one in, but like when people say um, it’s a hard habit to break. So I now pay really close attention to the words that I use in my classroom; I aim for clarity through multiple representations and explanations, not merely through repetition.

It was also pointed out to me that I twitch my nose a lot and blink my eyes a lot. This even earned me the nickname of Blinky Bill at high school! I’m not sure what the triggers for this are, but when I stay mindful and try to calm my face, it happens less.

It’s also been said that I’m a bit of a control freak, I don’t have much patience for indecisive people, at times I try to fix people’s problems instead of just holding space for them, and that my advice can be unsolicited.

Because other people have made these judgments, and shared them with me, I can sit back and take stock, and if I decide that that’s not the way I want to be, I can work on making a change.

If we don’t ever stop to reflect, and to make judgements, then how will progress ever be made?

If we stand by silently when we witness things that aren’t right, how will those things ever change?

If we’re afraid to speak up for fear of how we’ll be received, how will we ever make the world a better place for future generations?

For what is a life well-lived, if not one where we learn from the past and from our mistakes?

I expect my students to constantly sharpen their skills of critical literacy, to engage in healthy and respectful debate, to ask questions and, when it’s important to them, to be brave enough to challenge the status quo.

It seems only right that I do the same.

Even if it makes me “judgy”.

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  1. That’s a bold, confident move letting the teachers that you’re mentoring judge you too. It shows that you won’t allow yourself to become complacent, that you’re willing to learn and to grow. Their is negative judgy that is not helpful but it sounds like you’re a positive judgy to me. One that pushes the envelope to improve.

    Liked by 1 person

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