Looking Through Many Other Eyes

This morning, as I was having my coffee, I also read the front page of The Hamilton Spectator. That’s where I noticed this article about councillors asking the province to freeze school closures. As I skimmed the article, my first thought was, “Wow! My students are going to be so happy.” We’re inquiring about government issues right now, and many students are looking into school closures. They’ve been really focused on the closing of Millgrove School, and some students even wrote a blog post sharing more about the issue and a possible solution. And just as I thought about how eager my students would be to read this newspaper article, I started to consider the other points of view. What about a Board that’s paying for a school that’s not being fully used? Is this a good use of tax dollars?

Now please don’t get me wrong. I’m not suggesting that we close all of these schools. I also see the other points of view … and that’s really my point. There are always so many different perspectives. In education, I see this a lot.

  • As a teacher, I’m always looking out for the needs of my students. I’m also working with educational assistants that are looking out for the needs of specific students within my class makeup. 
  • But then a principal and vice principal have to consider the needs of all of the students in the school, and these needs do not always align with individual class needs.
  • And then there are the people working at the Board level that are considering the needs of the students in all of the schools, and those vary as well.
  • Let’s not forget about parents that are thinking about their own child’s needs.
  • There’s also the students that are looking out for themselves and their peers, and their thoughts may vary from the other people that are looking out for them.
  • On top of all of this, there is the government perspective: balancing the needs across the province while also juggling their own budget restrictions.

No one “point of view” should necessarily trump another one, but how do we truly honour all of these points of view, when at times they seem so diverse? I think that we need more stakeholders blogging and conversing about these various issues, and then we need to invite and/or encourage comments from everyone involved. We need to be willing to listen to these various perspectives. And we need to be open to seeing things from different points of view (even if this makes us uncomfortable). For right now, I can’t help but think about my vice principal‘s blog post last night. After I published my comment on her post, I noticed that our superintendent had replied as well, and my vice principal, Kristi, had written her back.

2014-03-20_08-05-16And here you can see one issue from three different perspectives: think about how much we can learn from each other.

The question is, are we willing to listen and open for change? I know that I can be passionate, and I’m reflecting now on many times that I’ve gone to talk to both of my administrators about issues with my point of view in mind — but likely forgetting about the other perspectives. Will I make this mistake again? Probably yes. But I hope that I’ll be more open to hearing these additional viewpoints because one point of view is not necessarily better than another. What do you think? How can we really help to see, and appreciate, various viewpoints? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!



8 thoughts on “Looking Through Many Other Eyes

  1. It’s really important to have different opinions. It creates a better conversation, and we have different points to look at. My question is how do you take these opinions in?

    • This is a great question, Yusra, and I’m not sure about the answer! Maybe we need to be open to really listening to these other points of view, and maybe sometimes we need to admit that we have varying viewpoints (and then look at the best way to make things work for everyone). Sometimes I wonder if having these difficult discussions doesn’t necessarily lead to a solution, but at least leads to a better understanding. What do you think?

      Miss Dunsiger

      • I agree. Sometimes these opinions don’t lead to a solution, but we definitely learn more.
        Now in days we forget to practice collaboration, and that is really supposed to be a big thing.
        Collaboration. That’s all really needed to say!
        1. Why do you surpass the limits to writing a post about a topic you are shaky about? ( I want to know this so it can inspire me in my writing!)
        2. If you are unsure about how you take these in, how would you RESPOND to these teachers/opinions? What would you say?

        • Yusra, you make a great point! Collaboration is so important. We definitely practice this a lot in the classroom. I’d love to answer your questions for you too. I’m not sure what you mean by the first one. Can you explain a little more? As for the second, if I didn’t agree, I’d probably start with asking some questions. I’d try to find out more about the other person’s point of view. Then I’d see if there were so similarities between our opinions. Sometimes this helps with a solution. And sometimes, you just have to “agree to disagree.” This can be hard to do, but it’s also important.

          Miss Dunsiger

          • Thanks for clarifying, Yusra! I don’t think that we need to know everything about a topic to write about it. For me, I tend to share what I’m thinking at the time, and then ask questions to find out what others think. Sometimes just the process of writing helps me figure out more about a topic than I thought that I could. Does this help?

            Miss Dunsiger

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