Currently relaxing on the couch watching it rain, figured it was the perfect time to jot down some thoughts. Since I’m here. Sitting on the couch. Watching TV and doing nothing.
I’m hoping that in the process of writing this the sun decides to come out since I wanted to spend some time outside today. Since the start of summer I’ve spent some time relaxing, hanging out with the dog and trying to enjoy the sunshine before worrying about some of the prep work I’ll need to do for next fall. Summer is also the time when many teachers will go to conferences to pick up some ideas, tips and tricks. One of my friends who also happens to be a teacher was tweeting out tidbits from one she was at recently and she shared out a message that was about teachers supporting opinions in our students.
We can’t live in a world surrounded by others who have the exact same thoughts, you’ll eventually run in to others who have differing opinions but that doesn’t mean their opinion is wrong and yours is right. Sometimes, yes. But sometimes, no, they might be right in the long run. There is no sense in devaluing them because their opinion is different.
I thought the quote she shared out was a good reminder for my students and than moved on. Thinking I’d keep it in the back of my mind for next fall but had it come full circle this week. I was out and about talking with some folks about this, that and the next thing and during the conversation this comment was thrown in, “Well, when you’re my age you’ll think differently.”
Now, I know she meant nothing by it and I’m sure I’ve said that to my students before but somehow after thinking about that quote all I could think was just because my opinion and age are different doesn’t mean they should be de-valued. I get it, I’m younger and my opinion is different but saying that comment made me feel like what I thought was not valid. Cut to thinking about my students and I just thought well crap, this feeling sucks, like my thoughts don’t matter. Do we do this to our kids? Sure, I know opinions can change over time, but one is not better than another, they’re just different. Opinions are shaped by our experiences. I know that on certain topics some of my students probably have a more informed opinion just because it’s something they know more about and in class I want them to feel like their opinions can be fostered and voiced regardless of age. The loudest opinion isn’t always right. The oldest isn’t always wisest, the youngest isn’t either. Opinions are not facts.
Experiences help shape us, and while we get more experiences as we get older those shape us personally and the experiences that shape others may be drastically different from our own. It was a reminder to myself to continue to be open minded.
It was a very teachable moment to remind me what I want to make sure I give to my students. I may have more experiences in the realms of art when I help them out and share ideas but my opinion of what’s best might not be best for them. I think that students should take art classes to foster their soft skills of problem solving, perseverance and more. But I’ve got some students that are going to get those skills and more by taking a a different kind of class, or maybe by learning out in the real world. Maybe they take a cooking class. They’ll be able to express themselves creatively through that strand. Is that what I would pick? No. But that doesn’t mean it’s a bad choice. For them.
(In fact, it’s a great choice and they should teach their art teacher some skills because I’m not very creative with my cooking.)
Or they can just let me taste test their food. 😁
To each their own. Live and let live and be open.