With the upcoming elections, there is much talk. There is talk on TV, online, on the radio, and around the dinner table. As an extension of their lives outside of school, kids talk at lunch, on the playground, and in their classrooms.  Information is everywhere, and often those sensitive topics make their way around circle time.

Grace Newsome, School Counselor, started out the school year developing our faculty on how to best manage these conversations. “Think of the many things in the media today that cause anxiety, that can polarize conversations,” Grace begins. “Politics are just the start. There are bombings and violence in the media, scary things happening in the world every day.” She goes on, “Chuck asked me to talk to the faculty about identifying what issues they may encounter in the classroom and why are they important to address.”

Fundamentally, we want kids to learn how to handle it when others have opinions different than they do, how to respect others’ opinions, how to express their own opinions, and how to think critically about the information in front of them. These are skills for long-term success that all thinking people need to have. Additionally, Grace says, “as school counselor, my ultimate goal is to remove the social and emotional barriers that can hinder academic success. Lessons in the classroom are the best place to start.”

Here is Grace’s presentation on “Difficult Conversations.”

Comments (1):

    Dominique Olbert October 3, 2016

    I think it is critical that children be allowed to have these conversations at school. If they are told to keep quiet on certain subjects, how will they learn how to talk about controversial issues in the world? People who repress their opinions can usually only do so for so long before they explode out at some point. Civilized discourse between people who disagree is a foundation of democracy. We must teach children how to communicate and respectfully disagree, even if it makes conversations tense at times.

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