Never Assume Anything
This can be great advice when working with people. Often, we are in a situation in which we ask others to complete a task. We can never assume they understand what we want done if we don’t tell them exactly what to do and how to do it. As teachers, we discover that creating directions for a group of people is an art form. We cannot assume that high school students know what to do just because they should know. We need to explain our expectations clearly and step-by-step. I found that as a teacher, I talked to kindergartners almost the same way I talked to seniors.
Never assume anything. This great bit of advice goes well beyond giving clear and precise directions. What about our feelings or emotions towards those around us? Those people who are our friends, coworkers and family. Do other people know how we feel about them? Do we only respond emotionally to them when we are angry or sad? If so, that’s not good. How do those people know we care about them? Do we just assume that they know? It’s easy to say, “They just know.” As an instructional coach working with teachers, I ask them, “How do your students know you care about them?” We can’t just assume that because we are teachers they know we care. We have to do two things– show them and tell them. Yes, most people demonstrate or show that they care about their students or loved ones, but do you tell them? Often, the answer is no. Some may feel uncomfortable, others may think it’s not necessary. However, you’re not the person on the other side of the relationship, so how do you know it’s not necessary? It doesn’t take very long to say, “I appreciate what you did today, you make my job fun. Thank you.”
Do you have a spouse, significant other, parent, or child? If so, I hope you love them. Do you just assume that they know you love them or do you show them and tell them? Why is it, that for some of us, it is easier to show than it is to say it? I don’t have the answer for that one. I know my wife needs to hear those “3 words” once in a while.
We all lead busy lives. We have multiple excuses for slacking off when it comes to being a good spouse, parent, or friend. But someday, we won't have the same opportunity to tell them how we feel. Readers, in the end I want you to know, I am also writing this for myself. I, too, need to work on this. To my wife: I love you. I will do better.