To help encourage conversations about respect, engagement, and listening, the topic/question for the dinner table is...
Respect - An Ode to Aretha
How often should an adult take into account the perspective expressed in the statement below, particularly when a teenager falls below expectations?
The challenging developmental tasks of separating from adults and seeking their own identity often lead them to push adults away, refute adult guidance, and disagree even when it betrays all rationality
- just about every single time
- just when the request/suggestion to the teenager is absolutely reasonable
- just after an extreme response from the teenager; other times, it is best to let it go, for the sake of both parties
Taking into account the statement below, how valuable is it to not overlook behaviors that lead to contrary choices?
It is important for us not to overlook the developmental necessity of these behaviors and to understand them. In doing so, we express our respect for each teen.
- difficult to do, yet an absolute necessity if you want to master your craft
- difficult to do, and because it is so variable, trying to do it can become a deterrent to teaching, thus a hindrance to learning
- somewhere between the first two, and it is hard to determine which statement it makes sense to follow in order to be the best you can be
Hopefully everyone was able to take advantage of the extra hour with Daylight Savings this weekend, amidst Halloween fun and raking leaves! We had a very festive weekend - Spooky Trail party with friends on Friday evening, sports and pumpkin carving during the day on Saturday before trick-or-treating fun, and we had Owen's soccer game Sunday afternoon. We were also to find some time to start putting the garden to bed. (As a side note, Grayden, Maggie, and Owen loved looking through all of the pictures from Blake’s Halloween last Friday – what a great day!)
Last Monday evening I went up to Kittery, ME to view a screening of Most Likely to Succeed, an education documentary examining the current structures and systems we have in place for our students. It was a very thought-provoking film and I have found myself revisiting many of the ideas from the film, both intentionally and unintentionally. Some of the overarching questions that the film engages the viewer to ask include: ‘What is it that we want for our students? What is success and how do we measure it? What does the environment need to look like for this to take place?’ These are big questions, for sure, and I am looking forward to sharing and discussing the thoughts that were evoked from the documentary.
During meetings and interactions throughout the rest of the week, as noted above, I found myself making connections and asking more questions. The topics of the meetings varied (curriculum, feedback, budget, and math programs), but the essential elements were similar – ‘How can I help my child? What do we want for our students? What is meaningful and relevant? What environment needs to be fostered?’ At a couple of meetings this week with both teachers and parents, I was asked to give my opinion as to what path ‘we’ should take. I have always enjoyed ‘problem solving’ and ‘troubleshooting’, but the truth is – in each of these occasions – the ‘path’ was not clear. I knew I had to ask more questions and listen – I simply did not have enough information. Taking logistical and ‘fact-based’ questions aside, I have found that each day I find more ‘shades of gray’ at school. As discomforting as that may be at times due to the unease that grayness can provoke, I find it centering to come back to each individual situation. In order to do this we must always come back to relationships. Relationships – with students, parents, and one another – are at the heart of our work and they need constant nurturing and fine-tuning. The two posts I am sharing this week emphasize the importance of listening and the role that respect plays with our students…
post by Dan Butler (@danpbutler)
The title of Butler’s post speaks for itself and is a good reminder that we can all ‘look closer’ to gain more context.
As I have conversations and interactions with a variety of people, I have come to realize a few key points of which I need to be reminded from time to time...Everyone is dealing with something that we may know nothing about...Sometimes it is about what is not said...Assume the best.
When we take the time to look closer, we will better understand our people, their circumstances, and what we can do to move forward together. We are in a people business and must never forget to take care of our most valuable resources.
Teen Engagement in Learning Starts With Respect
by Julie Baron in Edutopia
Baron’s piece accurately and succinctly describes the dynamic of teen engagement, with an appreciation of the importance of understanding the developmental needs of adolescents. ‘Meeting students where they are at’ can sound trite; however, it is so important. I particularly like the ‘six skills’ she highlights to help build a culture of respect with our students.
When adolescents describe the ways in which they experience respect, they report that they want to feel challenged by being pushed beyond their comfort zone. They want adults to hold the bar high for them. They feel respected when adults listen and respond to them without judgment, and accept their beliefs and values, however different from their own. And when adults are responsive to their intellectual, physical, social, and emotional needs, adolescents feel this as genuine concern for their welfare, which in turn makes them feel valued.
But adolescents can be uniquely frustrating to many adults. The challenging developmental tasks of separating from adults and seeking their own identity often lead them to push adults away, refute adult guidance, and disagree even when it betrays all rationality. It is important for us not to overlook the developmental necessity of these behaviors and to understand them. In doing so, we express our respect for each teen.
Six skills to help build a culture of respect with teens...
1. Understand and respect the function of the behavior.
2. Assess whether there may be a skills or performance deficit.
3. Assess motivation: know if your goals match their goals.
4. Find something positive about the adolescent.
5. Know your own triggers.
6. Seek feedback.
As we start the month of November, we will be continuing our work towards answering the essential question for our students: ‘How Can We Curate the Progression of Student Learning and Growth?’ with the theme of collaboration hopefully embodied in our actions and efforts. Taking the skills identified by Baron into account will certainly prove to be helpful with both our students and one another, as well as asking a few more questions to listen and better understand the varying perspectives that exist. I know I can get better at this and will do my best - please push me and I will do the same for you.
Please click here for Blake Updates.
Please click here for Thursday Packet Information.