The General Teaching Council for Scotland

Enhancing professionalism in education since 1965

22 Jan 2017

Making room for wisdom

Jacqueline MorleyJacqueline Morley, Senior Education Officer

 January always makes me glad – the days are getting longer, they really are. Though the changes are so small it can be hard to see to begin with, it is actually getting brighter in the morning. It also offers me a point of reflection to start the year. I have long since given up making new year resolutions but instead opt to identify a theme for the year to guide my thinking and reflections personally and professionally. This year it is ‘there has to be a wiser way’ … or, as my daily thought calendar is currently pointing out, in the words of Thomas Edison ‘There’s a way to do it better – find it’.

I have long known that ‘harder, longer, faster, more’ is not the solution to the issues I face but rather the ability to step back and find a better, wiser way. Yet this so often eludes me and I find myself yet again fighting with my emails late in the evening (as if that will help!). My theme this year is there to remind me that whatever conundrum or issues I face, I do in fact have the answers or could be asking for help! When catching myself falling into this way of thinking and working, coaching approaches play a central role in helping me regroup and find that solution-focused approach.

This Friday I have a full day coaching workshop with a truly fabulous group of leaders of learning from all across Scotland. This is the third day of a longer enquiry into how coaching approaches can support professional learning and the learning of others. The programme creates the space to bring our best thinking to the fore and to get into some important coaching conversations that help us extend our learning and find new answers and approaches. As I look at the slides for tomorrow’s coaching workshop, my eye is drawn to the slide entitled 99 per cent perspiration, 1 per cent inspiration, which simply says ‘Hard work is the key to success’ and then ‘overworking is a major block to success’, and I ask myself how can I make room for more inspiration? I know that If I keep refocusing on making room for wisdom and finding the space to stop, reflect and bring forward my best thinking, then like January, things will be brighter and I will be more focused on achieving what is really important.

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