Why Pairing Reflection and Action Defines Success | Gillian Barnes | 3 Min Read

This article won 1st prize in the Intrepid Ed News Summer Writing Contest. The writing prompt was: “I think my profession needs…”  Congratulations to Gillian Barnes!

As a school leader, my profession needs to couple reflection and action more effectively. I see this problem every day. Educators and educational administrators fall into one of two categories: reflection experts or action-oriented professionals. These two camps need to work better together. 

As a marketing and communications leader, I am conditioned to notice metrics, tangents, or “weak points” in a system. People classify me as the person who can poke holes in any argument, and as such, since entering the educational realm, I notice that these two types of people are both highly intelligent and want to make change, but they stand in their own way.

Here’s what I mean.

The Two Types

The reflection experts are deep thinkers and have big ideas. They love diving into books about theory and talking at length about which ones they loved best. Reflection experts are also quoted more often when they enact change because they document the process fastidiously. However, reflection experts may take years. 

The action-oriented professionals, on the other hand, are passionate.…

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