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What's an Educator Without Wisdom?

SG Whats an Educator Without WisdomNever before has so much been expected of educators. All the strategic planning and school expertise in the world failed to anticipate the overwhelming and disruptive impact of COVID on our people and systems. But that's not all.

Many are finding it difficult to reinvent themselves and their organizations enough to successfully implement new technologies, manage societal shifts in expectations, and adjust to rapidly emerging education trends. Wise Intelligence is one of the Key Intelligences of Highly Effective Educators, and it is in these moments that wisdom is revealed and leaders emerge. 

Aristotle defined wisdom as the understanding of the causes and connections between things. With such perspective, one has a deeper comprehension of the goals and meaning of life.

To be wise is to be knowledgeable, but it also requires intelligence, reflection, humility, and a willingness to accommodate new information and different viewpoints.  

What's an educator without wisdom? It is deceptive for someone to be so intelligent with extensive knowledge of teaching and learning, and yet be deficient in the wisdom required to effectively apply that knowledge with discernment and understanding within the context of school.

The signs of a person lacking in wise intelligence are very familiar—here are a few:

🛑 Know-it-alls.
The know-it-alls are perhaps the most difficult because their academic arrogance deafens the ability to genuinely listen and learn. It's simply harder for these educators to learn when suffering from an elevated sense of self-worth and/or fear-induced insecurities. 

Meanwhile, they expect deference and respect from colleagues and parents, further complicating their ability to build healthy relationships and contribute positively to school culture. Leading and loving others is more joyful when we're able to comfortably acknowledge what we don't know.

Humility will teach you knowledge,
arrogance will teach you ignorance.
If you think you know it all,
you have learned nothing.

🛑 Excessive Talkers.
Excessive talkers dominate conversations and meetings. They often miss those important social cues, interrupt frequently, and ignore the opportunity to learn from others. 

What do people want to talk about? Themselves. Partly because we have a natural desire to be heard, but also because the process of talking about ourselves releases dopamine into our system--we can actually become addicted to that pleasure.

If people would only talk about what they understood,
Earth would be a very quiet place.

—Albert Einstein

🛑 Resistors.
Rather than accepting and embracing feedback—both verbal and non-verbal—resistors are stubbornly committed to their current path and attitude. The people around may have some great ideas for how things can improve, but frustrations and dysfunction continue to grow.  

How we receive feedback directly influences the culture of the organization and is vital to the success of the mission.

Leaders who refuse to listen will eventually be surrounded
by people who have nothing significant to say.

—Andy Stanley

In our research on the Key Intelligences of Highly Effective Educators, wise intelligence was recognized by the ability to remain composed in the midst of crisis, to be thoughtful and self-reflective, and to consider alternative perspectives and facts to respond more effectively.

Wisdom is a most valuable asset in education--the educators and schools that possess it are more likely to sustainably grow and maximize their influence. 

Wise educators accurately evaluate people and situations

Wise educators understand the greater context

Wise educators communicate with clarity and meaning

CLICK HERE to download a free infographic on
the twelve Key Intelligences of Highly Effective educators.

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