Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Swirling Questions

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Zora Neale Hurston's words are floating around in my head, "There are years that ask questions and years that answer." I notice that I am filled with questions and I wonder if this year will provide any answers.

Am I where I'm supposed to be?
What is a good teacher?
Am I a good teacher?
Am I meeting the needs of my students?
How can I better meet their needs?
How am I at working on a team?
Am I stubborn and close-minded?
Am I helpful to others?
Do I challenge my students?
What do my students think?
What am I supposed to do?
What does success look like?
Who defines that?
What's important?
Am I good enough?
How can I be better? 
When my students walk out of my classroom, what do I want them to know, feel, be?
How do I meaningfully teach all I need to teach?
How do I engage them?
Are they engaged?
How can I make it better?
Where do I begin? 

School has changed so much that I wonder about so many of these questions. It's easy to become overwhelmed by all of this, but I must confess...the act of writing down these questions has helped me. Maybe the answers lie in the questions. Taking time to reflect and really think about the questions...that's my strategy. What are your questions? 


  1. I could tell you the answer to many of these questions, Michelle, but I know you already know the answers. Listen to that voice inside you that is confirming that what you do is right, generous and loving. That voice is there -- even if it just seems like a whisper.

  2. We have lots of the same questions and I suspect we both try to quiet the questions at times. Thanks for sharing,

  3. I love that quote. It has me wondering if this is my year for answers as well. Like you, I've been filled with questions lately around much of the same stuff. I love aligning myself with you by reading your blog and following you on FB. We always know our kindred spirits.

  4. Keep playing with questioning. The questions grow, your answers change and it may lead you to surprises. One of my favorite questions to ask lately is "What else is possible?"

  5. I started my year off with a question too, Michelle. Questions keep us wondering and reflecting before planning our action. Happy New Year!

  6. I love the quote, and believe you are right about the reflecting. The act of creating the questions helps you pause to see if the answer is already there. Swirling is certainly a great description of how my mind works, especially at the year's beginning. Always best wishes to you, Michelle, for your consistent thinking that makes us all pause to consider too.

  7. You know how I feel about reflection! It is so important, but more important is where the reflection is coming from. Is it coming from our hearts, or is it coming from the actions or words of others?

  8. Asking these questions is what makes you a great teacher, Michelle. I've never stepped foot inside your classroom (although I hope to someday), but I know you have the best of intentions, you work hard, and you are impacting those kids.

    Keep asking questions - but don't doubt yourself.

  9. Great quote, Michelle and what wonderful, thoughtful questions! The fact that you're asking them speaks volumes and is a tribute to you. Thanks for sharing.

  10. I think that those of us who worry and wonder these questions always have and always will - it's what drives us to be better every day.

  11. That Zora Neale Hurston quote is so powerful. I'd forgotten it. Thank you for the reminder. I'm a fan of yours through cyberspace Michelle. You are that teacher who reflects, sets goals, works, reflects more, adjusts, questions, writes, learns, reflects again. You're a great role model for many of us. Happy New Year.

  12. I love how thoughtful and reflective you are -- and we are so lucky that you share all your wondering and thinking and questions and heart with us! Keep asking questions and questions will lead to ideas, trials and errors, surprises, and even a few answers! :) Now you got me wondering ...


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