With the new Common Core standards, students are expected to be able to communicate effectively. Sometimes even Honors kids have trouble doing that. What do we have to do to make sure we can present a point of view and make sure that people can absorb information efficiently? How do you debate? How do you work in a team environment?
My teachers say that by teaching and presenting information, we actually reinforce what we already know. If you truly understand something, then you’d be able to teach it in simpler terms and ways. Knowing something is not enough and you’d only be able to do what you know. If you understand it, then teaching is what is possible.
In terms of debating, sometimes it gets very heated and you get very emotional. Do not take anything personal and do not make it personal. Don’t tell anybody that what they’re saying is wrong because not everything is black and white and there’s more than one way to view something or to do something. Simply telling the person that they’re completely wrong will cause them to retreat into a defensive shell where they ignore everything you say and don’t take anything into consideration and try to understand your conclusions. When you get angry, and believe me you will, don’t display that anger and instead talk once you feel ready. The same advice could be taken for parenting. Often times when a parent yells, the child just shuts out everything and retreats to a place where they feel safe. This could be a physical place or perhaps a mental place.
Often I find myself pondering why someone would think a certain way and then I’d understand and accept their viewpoint. Ben Carson from Fox News is a conservative whose views I don’t agree with. He doesn’t believe in handouts and helping people who need it because he himself was one of those people and through his own hard work was able to get out of that situation and become a neurosurgeon among other things.
When you understand how they came to their conclusions, you can then relate to the other person’s opinion. Tell them a story about how you have often been in the same situation or how you reached the same conclusion at another point of the book, but did not reach it at that point of the book.
Last of all, know when to walk away. When faced with a difficult situation, don’t force this to be your solution, but you should consider it an option and definitely try to revisit the issue some other time when the situation is more stable. By forcing the issue, you can cause more harm than you would have just letting it go.