It’s official!!! The back to school supplies and signage is up at all of our favorite stores, and that certain energy and vibe is awakening in children, parents, and educators. Summer is coming to an end, and the return of routines, alarm clocks, and getting organized are marching steadily toward us. We begin making choices to either face it head on and get started or by trying to retreat and avoid it just a few weeks longer.
I want to invite you to approach back to school with a word and phrase we use a lot in professional development coaching. I wonder. “I wonder” is so freeing because you become open to whatever the outcome may be. When we “want” or “hope” or “wish” for something, we run the risk of being disappointed when our desire does not come to fruition. We may be missing so many rewards by narrowing our desire down to the one selection we have made. If the outcome is not what we had in mind, we feel let down rather than interested in the alternative option. “I wonder” opens the door to being ready for all the possibilities and to the fact that we may not always know what is the next best step. Personally, I am trying to eradicate the wants, hopes, and wishes from my own vocabulary and to just “wonder” what will I experience next in every professional and personal interaction.
As educators, it is very important that we suspend our opinions, prior experiences, and strongly held beliefs in order to put ourselves in a place of openness and respect with the teachers, parents, and students we are entrusted. We need to wonder how things are working for them, wonder how we can be of help, wonder what their goals and dreams are for themselves. It involves placing ourselves in a place of “gray” and allowing our decisions to be made on what is presented before us instead of holding the unknown to a preconceived result of our own decision making.
I wonder how we will encourage, inspire, and create our best school year? I wonder what joys, heartbreaks, victories, and challenges we will face? I wonder who we will meet and build relationships with as we learn together? I wonder.