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Never Assume

By Clara Swinehart
Never Assume

For over 30 years international school leaders, teachers, and counselors have come together for PTC professional learning experiences.  Each day of every program begins with a "pearl of wisdom," a "nugget of knowledge," or a "gem of inspiration" from one of the participants.  We are delighted to offer our readers around the world these powerful stories, insights, and strategies, all dedicated to our shared mission of ever more and better learning for our children.  

In this Pearl, Carla reflects back on situations that didn’t go as she planned and finds herself saying, “well, I assumed…” When this occurs, she smiles, stops, and learns the lesson to never assume a little more deeply. She notes that “never assuming means finding out more when we can, clarifying, deeply listening, using our choice words to ensure we’re finding out the most that we can. Never assuming means developing better questioning skills, developing relationships, effective surveying. Never assuming means getting the data and information, treating each interaction as a chance to find out more so you don’t have to assume, delivering clear expectations and instructions, the list goes on and on…” Never assuming applies to our own experiences, our interactions with our students and parents, and our exchanges with our teachers. When in a situation now, she asks, “what am I assuming right now that I maybe shouldn’t be. And more importantly, what can I do about it?”

Professional positions cited were the ones held at the time of recording. The positions and schools of those quoted may have since changed.


Clara Swinehart is the curriculum director at Mahindra International School.

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