Friday, October 27, 2006

Critical Update

I wonder why I am so critical of things. Most of the time, no one ever knows about it, but I definitely think about stuff all the time. Not only about myself, but also with others. I struggle with the right time to express my criticism and when to refrain.

A little while ago (last Spring), I really made a mistake without even knowing it. I was being critical with a student who needed some positive reinforcement. This student gave me a paper that we were going to use for our Mexico trip and wanted me to look over it. It was written in Spanish. I had looked over it and noticed several grammatical errors. It was just wrong. When she came back to my office a couple of days later. I just showed her some of the mistakes I saw. I also asked her about the progress with the other things she was working on.

In my mind, she was a solid student. Someone I didn't need to think about how to encourage all the I thought. Apparently, I really hurt her. She hid it really well, but she eventually let me know about it. I realized that I need to be in the business of contructive criticism. This is encouraging people, yet offering suggestions for improvement too.

What sparked this thought is our secretary. I asked her to make some copies for me, front and back. When I got them back, they were one-sided...and with paper clips. The paper clip thing didn't bother me, I just asked her to staple them for me. But the front and back thing did bother me.

I am not going to say anything to her about this because I just need to get over that. However, I do think I need to communicate that I need her to listen to me a little more carefully. Lord, give me wisdom to know when to speak and when to be silent.

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