Helping Others to Prepare for the Future

Over the next month, our house will be celebrating two graduations! My oldest son, Keegan, will be graduating college, and my youngest son, Jaiden, will be graduating high school.

I remember when Keegan graduated high school. Despite all of my fatherly advice and perspective as an educator, he found himself at the end of the school disclosing that he had wished he had worked harder. I was beyond frustrated. I felt that my background and the time I gave to him should’ve been enough. What more could I have done?

I may have blocked it out, but if I had to reflect, I think the failure was that I talked to much. I preached. I commanded. And, I may have even made empty threats.

Maybe because I truly didn’t understand my role as a father or how to parent, but I didn’t spend enough asking questions, listening, and helping Keegan to “see it” for himself.

Isn’t that the true power of an amazing educator?

I realize more and more, regardless of role, we can’t joystick others. You know what I mean, right? Treating others like we are holding a joystick that can move the character from left to right.

Joysticking takes less time than going through all the questions, listening, and helping a student to see it for themselves.

Yes, it does. But, I also realize first hand that joysticking doesn’t translate to impact.

I can’t always say that the second kid always gets it better than the first, but I did find myself investing more time in asking questions and listening with Jaiden. I prompted and encouraged him to identify a path and helped when asked. It definitely took more time. But, his pending graduation hasn’t seemed to sneak up on him. He’s more prepared and ready.

What might be an area that you may be in a joystick mindset? What could be something you can do to slow it down to invite the person through questions and active listening to help cast a vision for them to see it?

One comment

  1. That is why I prefer “feed forward” over feedback. It is more than a difference of terminology.
    Feedback is looking in the past and stops with the current. Feed forward starts with the current and moves forward. To me, you are a real feed forward type of mentor 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s