Questions Create Direction

With Thanksgiving this week, the school year will accelerate rapidly to close the calendar year and first semester. Right now, thoughts are already turning to academic or instructional changes needed for the second semester. To help, the Stride Professional Development Center will give you some ideas about how questions shape direction. 

If we are honest, sometimes, we choose not to ask a question because risk appearing foolish. Other times, we avoid a question because we fear or do not want to hear the answer. Either motivation is flawed because it reveals a deliberate, intentional choice to remain uniformed. A modernized version of an ancient proverb on this topic says, “He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask is a fool forever.” To gain direction, we must ask questions.

Let me share a personal example with the picture above. Back in 2016, I spent about 10 days in Montana with a friend and we were walking back to the truck (look in the center portion of the photo and you’ll see giant hay bales – that’s where we parked). It had been a long, hard day of slogging across some tough terrain. I needed to set my mental state due to fatigue and assumed it would be easy due to the flat prairie we covered. I assumed and I failed ask a question. The photo shows the work we still had to do – descend into this canyon, follow a stream, cross it, and then climb back uphill to reach the path leading us to the truck. Upon reaching this spot. I was spent. I felt deceived. Yet, I realized it was my fault. Simply, I failed to seek directions through questions.

If you are choosing not to ask questions, then you exist within the realm of assumptions. To be honest, assumptions rarely lead to the right answers that provide clear direction. Average people operate based upon assumptions and, as a result, they maintain the status quo. You see, questions have the power to enlighten both the one asking and the one receiving the question. Think about that! By simply stepping outside of your, personal comfort zone, you create an opportunity of learning for you AND others.

In closing, remember that reflection leads to questions and, together, they create direction. 

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