Thursday, July 17, 2014

Looking Through the Window or Looking In The Mirror #ptcamp

During the summer of #ptcamp, an awesome book chat of Beyond the Bake Sale initiated by Joe Mazza (@Joe_Mazza), the Leadership Innovation Manager at Penn, one comment has jumped out at me and slapped me square in the face.

Are you looking out through the window or are you looking in the mirror?

The comment slaps me in the face every day while I take part in the Voxer chat or read someone's blog.  And the slap hurts.  Every time.

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The look through the window is so much easier.  I look out to see what others can do for me, for our school, for our students, for our staff.  Looking out the window is passive.  Frankly, it's the easy way out.  But sometimes I need help with my ideas or for someone to tell me my ideas just aren't practical.  The view out the window, however, can guide us as we look in the mirror.

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The look in the mirror is much more difficult.  It's all about you and what you can do.  You can still ask for help from others, and you should, but it starts with you.  I think it's a good idea to check your own pulse before you check the pulse of those with whom you work or your family partnerships.  Ask yourself these questions-
What should we start?
What should we stop?
What should we continue?
I have a habit of hearing a good idea (and there are so many in our #ptcamp discussions) and I want to get it going in my school- RIGHT NOW.  I really need to step back, look in the mirror, and determine whether it fits in our school.  If it does, then I need to look out the window and ask for help from others.  But it all starts with that look in the mirror.


  1. Thank you for your honest reflection, no pun intended. Your words really struck a chord with me. The three questions you posed are a framework for solid reflection in our schools. I am like you in that I hear an idea on Voxer and wNt to run with it immediately. I need to keep your questions in mind and ask my self if the activity connects to student achievement and increases family and community engagement. The ideas may be wonderful but might not meet the needs of my school community. Thank you for providing a framework for further reflection.

  2. Thank you for sharing Jay. I hear ideas and want to start so many things at our school, your blog is a reminder for me to step back and make sure it fits with our school community and check to see if it is something they really want or need. A few good strong programs are much more effective than trying to get so many things in place