Hearing All Voices

Twitter is often perceived as an echo chamber. I get that. Depending on whom you follow and what conversations you participate in, it’s easy to just do a lot of head nodding as people share the same thoughts. That’s why I appreciate following educators like Andrew Campbell. While Andrew and I live fairly close to each other, we teach for different Boards, and the majority of our conversations happen online. Andrew’s always causing me to think. He thinks about topics differently than I do. I’m more of a “small picture” person, and Andrew gets the “big picture.” Lately, he’s been blogging regularly about his thoughts — something that I truly appreciate — and while I don’t always agree with what he says, he forces me to think more deeply about what I do believe.

I share my thoughts on Andrew here because I think it’s important to have people like “Andrew” in our lives: people that don’t echo our ideas, but give us new ones to consider. Based on my online and offline interactions, I feel lucky to have many of these people around that cause me to think, question, reflect, and see things differently. Some of them are fellow teachers. Some of them are administrators. Some of them are superintendents. Some of them are educational assistants. Some of them are consultants. Some of them are parents. Some of them are students. In various ways, each of these people push my thinking. 

I feel fortunate to have colleagues and friends that openly offer these opposing viewpoints, and challenge me (in a good way) to reconsider what I think. But the problem is, I don’t think that the only echo chamber is online. I think we have our own echo chambers in schools. How often do we hear one view expressed and see others nodding along? Do they do so because they agree, or do they do so because they don’t know how else to respond? Is there maybe another reason altogether? I happen to think that we all learn a lot from each other. Teaching differently and thinking differently is good. We need to hear various voices. How do we “hear” more voices in schools and online? How do we encourage hard conversations about challenging topics? I’d love to know what you do, or what you think would be worth trying. I can’t help but wonder what voices are missing from the conversation, and what these people would contribute!


One thought on “Hearing All Voices

  1. Pingback: Read, filter, share… repeat. | SheilaSpeaking

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *