Saturday, November 16, 2019

A Tale of Two Conversations

I want to paint a picture of two conversations between a teacher and a student. Both started with a problem that needed solving.

In the first conversation, they talk about the issue.
The teacher helps the student brainstorm ideas about how to solve it, or at least what next steps might be. The questions that the teacher asks sound like this: "What is the root of the problem? What would make it better? How could you get there?"
They bounce ideas around and end up co-constructing a plan. In the end, they walk out of there with a clear idea of what to do next.

In the second conversation, they talk a bit about the issue, but more about the student who is seeking help.
The teacher asks questions to help the student reflect, such as, "What do you wish you could say? How do you think this is affecting you? What would you need to be able to move forward?"
They talk through these questions, and in the end, they walk out with some ideas of what to do, but a deeper understanding of themselves personally.

Both of these conversations are helpful, but they lead to slightly different outcomes.
Which conversation is more helpful in the short-term?
Which conversation is more helpful in the long-term?
Which conversation do you tend to have with your students?
How can we incorporate both angles into our interactions?

[Thoughts I'm pondering as I think about how to teach SEL skills, with both students and adults!]

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