Working positively with teachers
I went to a course early last term and a phrase was said that continues to stick in my mind – “Don’t get furious, get curious”. I have been in two further workshops with the same presenter and she often refers to this phrase.
The reason the phrase sits so strongly in my mind is because it relates to so many things. There are times when people can get frustrated or angry at you (the global ‘you’) and you just wish they had taken the time to understand where it was that you were coming from or what was going on for you at the time before they got angry. At other times you might get angry at someone because of the assumptions you have made about their actions, without really trying to understand the person. One thing that commonly happens as a result of getting furious instead of curious is that people become defensive, which shuts down any real exploration into the issue.
It makes me upset when I hear of parents taking schools to court. I find myself wondering if this simple phrase was kept in mind whether these situations would be less likely to happen, and a greater level of partnership could be achieved for the good of the children that both parties are working so hard for.
There may be lots of situations that occur at school where your first reaction might be anger or frustration. At this point I encourage you to get curious.
As an educator I have always felt that if I could not explain to a parent why I was doing, or had done, something, then I shouldn’t be doing it. Teachers may not always have the time to explain to parents in detail why they are doing something, but there should always be something driving their actions. Before getting worried, anxious, or furious take the time to go and have a chat with the teachers, in a manner where you are able to be genuinely curious.
Sincere curiosity breaks down defensiveness and helps genuine exploration into an issue. When parents and teachers genuinely explore issues together wonderful things are able to happen for the children that we all love and want the best for.