Dean James Ryan’s 5 Essential Questions


And did you get what you wanted from this life, even so? I did. And what did you want?
To call myself beloved, to feel myself beloved on the earth. —Raymond Carver
In one of my @Voxer conversations this YouTube video came up.  Now this link has been in my “Todoist” file for a month or so as I just didn’t seem to have ‘the time’ to listen to it.  Since playing it last week I have listened to it a few times over and decided that these 5 Questions might really help me guide decision making in leading and learning at school…and at home.
  1.  Wait……What ?!?!  Dean Ryan states that this question helps you to get to the ‘root of all understanding’.  Posing this question allows you to ask for clarification and/or use before drawing conclusions or before making decisions.
  2. I Wonder…?? Is the ‘heart of all curiosity’.  By asking ‘I Wonder Why?’ you remain curious about the world.  By asking ‘I Wonder If?’ you shift to how you might improve the world.
  3. Couldn’t we at least? Is the at the beginning of all progress-a way to help you get unstuck.  It helps to move past disagreement towards consensus and as he so clearly states: ‘a place to get started even if you are not sure where you will finish’.
  4. How can I help?  This is at the base of all good relationships.  It is a way to help a hand with humility-not with a ‘Savior complex’.  By asking ‘How can I help’ you are asking with humility and for direction understanding that others are experts in their own lives and they will help you as much as you help them.
  5. What truly matters…..(to me)?  This question gets you to the heart of life.  The answer to this question gets to the core of issues from our own believes and convictions.
At the end of his graduation speech-Dean Ryan adds a bonus question:
“Did you get what you wanted out of life….even so?”
By answering #1-5 regularly you will be able to answer the above question….I did.
He went on to add a final challenge:
“What if students didn’t simply perform well, but felt beloved?” 
As educators we have many responsibilities to the students, families, leaders and community stakeholders we serve.  And at times those may seem like challenges or roadblocks to what we really feel and know is best for these people we care deeply about and want to serve well.
Leading and learning at school and home using this five questions will provide a framework to ensure we are teaching content with compassion, kindness and a love for ALL of our kids.
If you have time please listen for yourself and you main gain other insights to these Five Essential Questions.  I know I have a new sense of clarity and purpose for the new school year.
Keep Dreaming BIG for our Littlest Learners!

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