The older I get (cough, cough) the more I realize I don’t know. There’s always another side to every story, there’s always a perspective that can be discussed or understood. Reasons for every action, thought, or attitude. I know teachers who swear up and down they’ll never be administrators, and administrators who wish teachers could walk just one day in their shoes…especially if they get to pick the day!
One of the surest signs of a confident learner, IMO, is their ability to listen and respond to other’s who don’t believe the same things that they do. There’s a quite the convo happening on twitter right now on the validity and credibility of the Bammy’s that took place in Washington DC this past weekend. There are fierce supporters on both sides. It’s been interesting to watch and think about. I’m intrigued because I truly respect people on BOTH sides of the discussion.
The trick is to do that and NOT come across as arrogant. Or all knowing. Or condescending. Can you do that? Can you engage in a conversation with someone who doesn’t agree with you and NOT be a jerk? If you can, I’d love to have a conversation with you, I might even be swayed. But if you can’t, I’ll just agree to disagree and ignore you. both sides. Twitter gets a lot of flack for being the echo chamber, but that’s not what I see. Maybe because I choose to follow edu-peeps who challenge my line of thinking, ones who not only disagree with me at times (George Couros) but challenge me to defend my beliefs. Not in an offensive, abrasive way…but in a thought provoking way.
Nobody likes to be made to feel stupid…and if you can’t discuss perspectives without making that happen…I don’t think you’re a very good leader. Of course, the onus can also be on you to be willing to HAVE that conversation at times, as well.
If that doesn’t make sense…I’ll let Ross and Phoebe reenact this blog post for you, 😉