Tuesday, April 11, 2017
My experiences have taught me that like an onion their are many layers to peel back when engaging in the reflective process.
Layer 1: I must assess the performance or issue through an objective lens, staying void of emotion as I examine the issue and my role or performance within it. What were my strengths? Where could I improve? What other factors were relevant in terms of how they impacted the issue or experience?
Layer 2: I must ask myself if my assessment is truly an honest one? If it isn't what is preventing me from making an honest assessment? Are my emotions clouding the process? Sometimes I may need the help of others.
Layer 3: I need to sit down with someone that I trust and honestly share the issue or experience with them and then openly listen to their feedback. Remembering that if it is someone I truly trust they will give me honest, objective feedback.
Layer 4: Apply all that I have learned about myself from the current situation, to future situations. Keeping in mind that I can always improve and others will benefit from those improvements as well.
Reflection is a complex at times painstaking process, but it is a skill that has great value. This particular skill allows citizens within global societies to move forward if they are courageous enough to engage in its practices and embrace the remedies that it reveals. This skill is one that must be taught to our children at a young age in order for them to recognize personal imperfections and failures. We must then use reflection as a tool to enable them to first accept failures and then to grow from them. When we have done this we put them in a position of readiness to accept the challenges that await them in their future.
I am a better person today because of my ability to be reflective, but that's not to say that I wouldn't be just a little bit happier, if only I did it right the first time, most of the time.
Sunday, April 2, 2017
Saturday, February 4, 2017
Monday, January 16, 2017
Friday, January 13, 2017
"There are two ways of spreading light, to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it."
In 1989, my career in education began when Harry Conover the former Athletic Director at Lawrence High School decided to take a chance on me and hire me as the assistant Winter Track coach. Beyond the opportunity to work with young student athletes every day, the thing that thrilled me the most was the opportunity to coach against the men who had coached me as an athlete, during my years at Steinert High School. My passion for, and knowledge of the sport was a direct result of their influence on me. Over the next six years being able to develop a positive professional relationship with these men who had mentored me as my coaches, is something I will cherish forever. Every chance I was given to spend time with them as a peer and learn from them as a coach, brought me great joy and enriched me professionally. I only hope they realized the gratitude that I felt towards them, as they assisted in my professional and personal growth. They all have had an immeasurable influence on my life as an athlete, a coach, an educator and a man.
These are just some of the success stories that reflect the paths chosen by former students in the field of Education or History. I consider myself fortunate to have had a front row seat for at least part of their journey. I am proud of everything that they continue to achieve and of the productive, contributing adults that they have become.
A few years ago my friend, mentor and former coach Jerry Bleistein after learning that one of my former athletes had coached against me and had coached his team to victory said " see it comes full circle". I always knew it would, I just never thought it would happen so soon.
(This post is dedicated to all of my students past and present who continue to inspire me each and every day.)