A-Z of Ethical Communication in Education- G is for Guidance

Guidance

‘help and advice about how to do something or about how to deal with problems connected with your work, education, or personal relationships’

To guide or give guidance, one would hope, is the precursor to anyone entering the field of education be they ‘front of house’ face to face in the classroom or in ‘the back office’ behind the scenes, keeping the systems chugging along.  In guiding others we are sharing our own knowledge and experience/expertise to support, problem solve and enable others.  It is a wonderful thing to partake in. 

However, one must be clear that the guidance on offer is ‘offered’ and not just given as part of an ego trip.  I remember in my early days of teaching I was told in retrospect that I had been ‘mentored’ and ‘given guidance’ by a senior leader.  This was news to me, I was unaware of these so called ‘mentoring sessions’.  To me they were regular structured work meetings, conversations, chats but not ‘guidance’ sessions.  I was left feeling that I had somehow missed something and that I had been on a checklist for the  SLT’s appraisal as opposed to reaping the benefits of someone’s knowledge and wisdom.  I felt patronised and excluded from the process that was there to ‘guide’ me!

So to provide guidance there needs to be an engagement, a contract perhaps, a process involving collaboration, knowledge that this is taking place and a check in to clarify ‘does the individual or group want or need it’?   This sounds long winded but it can take seconds to determine and the benefits are huge for both sides.  

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