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Watch your Language

I finished the retreat today. Teaching is inspiring others to want to learn. It does not replace the responsiblity for learning. Essential to inspiring is communicating with students, listening to them in caring and sensitive ways. At its greatest, teaching reminds me of the Buddhist proverb: “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”

Find Your Middle Ground

toshogu monkeys

I recall being reminded as I was growing up, and then again as an employee, how important it was to watch my language and to think before speaking.

However, in social media, and at the highest level of US government, this doesn’t seem to apply. Not thinking before speaking and readily making judgmental comments about people behind their backs, appears to be acceptable.

It makes me wonder “Are we becoming a society where gossip is okay?” and “Are you being drawn into this too?”

Let us all remind ourselves to THINK before we speak, post or email. Whether we are making a presentation, interacting with colleagues or chatting with friends, its important to remember this acronym.

T – Is this true?
H – Is this helpful?
I – Is this inspiring?
N – Is this necessary?
K – Is this kind?

Let us all practice mindful communication and bring respectful…

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About ivonprefontaine

In keeping with bell hooks and Noam Chomsky, I consider myself a public and dissident intellectual. Part of my work is to move beyond (transcend) institutional dogmas that bind me to defend freedom, raising my voice to be heard on behalf of those who seek equity and justice in all their forms. I completed my PhD in Philosophy of Leadership Studies at Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA. My dissertation and research was how teachers experience becoming teachers and their role as leaders. I focus on leading, communicating, and innovating in organizations. This includes mindfuful servant-leadership, World Cafe events, Appreciative Inquiry, and expressing one's self through creativity. I offer retreats, workshops, and presentations that can be tailored to your organzations specific needs. I published peer reviewed articles about schools as learning organizations, currere as an ethical pursuit, and hope as an essential element of adult eductaion. I published three poems and am currently preparing my poetry to publish as an anthology of poetry. I present on mindful leadership, servant leadership, schools as learning organizations, how teachers experience becoming teachers, assessement, and critical thinking. I facilitate mindfulness, hospitality retreats. and World Cafe Events using Appreciative Inquiry. I am writing and researching about various forms of leadership, how teachers inform and form their identity as a particular teacher, schools as learning organizations, hope and its anticipatory relationship with the future, and hope as an essential element in learning.

8 responses »

  1. Unfortunately, for many, the world has become a different, more hateful place. Teens are attacking each other through media and kids are killing themselves because of it. Cyber bullying…outrageous headlines and constant hateful, news filled with lies. What I think is happening…many of us have simply stopped listening. The kind and thoughtful, considerate way many of us were brought up can’t seem to survive, at least not on a grand scale, any longer. Not my president is filled with hateful words that circle the earth and turn people and countries against each other. People scream their hate at others. I don’t know if thoughtfulness can overcome/stop all of the hatred that has been unleashed. Looking at the big picture…we are heading into a very bad place.

    • I don’t think thoughtfulness can overcome and stop all the hatred that is unleashed. What it might be able to do is overcome it each of our small corners of the world. You are right there are many issues that we have not previously experienced. The best we can do is the best we can do.

  2. Thank you, very good tip. I also love the image. The best of the three apes iv ever seen. 😉 Michael

  3. sorry, i forgot the “e”. 😉

  4. I live in a lovely little town right next to a lovely giant town. The thing that has absolutely shocked me is the horrific way the adults speak about their neighbors in the harshest and ugliest of ways. If our children spoke this way, they could literally be kicked out of the schools for bullying. However those rules of decent human decorum have been tossed out the window. It’s beyond me and it makes my heart ache to see it. I have been thinking about this so.much lately and your words truly struck a chord with me. Thank you for the kindness and love you put out there. We all could use more of that in our world. 🙂

    • This morning I read the title of an education blog posting. It included the word “stupidest.” When we speak/write in that manner, we diminish the possibility someone may have a different view of the world that has merit.

      You are right. When we speak and write without being mindful, we model behaviours we would not tolerate from our children.

      Thank you for you kind words.


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