I was scrolling through my Facebook feed the other day and a video by Simon Sinek popped up. It was titled ‘Be the last to Speak” and it was certainly directed towards people working in management, people who would be considered to be in a ‘leadership role’. But it spoke really loudly to me in terms of how we treat our students and the agency we do or do not give them.
There is not really any question that in my classroom I am the one who is in charge. I have the final say in all things and when I put my foot down that’s the end of the conversation. But the video’s message is that we can be the final voice, but everyone else should have their say first. That we should listen and understand where these various voices are coming from and in the end if we still decide to take whatever route we’ve chosen, then at least we did it with all possible outlooks and opinions, and everyone has had their voice heard.
When we allow our students to be heard we make them feel valued and important. We show them that we care what they think and how they feel. When your students feel valued the respond by valuing you, your rules and your expectations. Respect should be mutual and to get it we need to show it.
Be the last to speak.
*Also send me all your good thoughts on my very first day of school today!