Point of View
I just finished reading a book by one of my favorite authors, Jodi Picoult. The book was Songs of the Humpback Whale. It is written in the five voices of the main characters. Have you ever read a book like this? I have, but never have I felt equally for each character's point of view as I did when I read this. Usually while reading, I find myself taking the "side" of a certain character and not empathizing with most them. I side with the character that suits what my own point of view would be. Jodi has the distinct ability to make me feel like I am walking a mile in everyone's shoes.
This makes me think about my first year teaching. I began my career teaching fifth grade students with learning disabilities. Many of my kids couldn't read, had challenging home situations and had behavior problems. These were the kids I WANTED. I was going to really impact their lives...and I still feel that is my goal as a teacher. I was so certain I was "right" in all I did. I thought I knew how their parents should be raising them, how administrators should handle their shenanigans and exactly how to teach them. I wasn't wrong in all I did. In fact, I think I did a pretty good job as a beginning teacher...but I have learned to look at things from many different sides. When I'm not happy with a student's behavior, classwork, parents or co-workers I always stop and think about their point of view. As a teacher or coach, I know I am much more effective by being empathetic to others. I have even learned to consider the possibility that I may be wrong! Does this mean I'm all grown up??!