In response to the post, “Teacher Stress Quick Hitters,” a reader writes:

“Interesting that I was discussing Point 4, “When I don’t agree, I think I love it more,” with another veteran LYS leader (JM) just yesterday.

JM and I agree about 90% of the time. Yesterday, we realized that we have actually learned a lot from each other. Guess why? It is not because of the 90% we agree on. The learning is due to the 10% we disagree on.

We then discussed other administrators we know in our highly dysfunctional district; administrators who are not leaders, essentially anti-LYS’ers. We concluded they purposefully surround themselves with people who agree with them and have zero tolerance for a differing point of view. There has to be a lesson in here somewhere.”

SC Response
Do you think?

It is the argument, the adversity, and/or the challenge that hones the critical thinking process. When we agree and/or things are going well, the half thought out idea and lazy practice will suffice. We aren’t forced to dig out the one piece of truth that will make the difference.

It is often pointed out that the old school LYS’er does not talk, act, or think like any other educator. And I believe that this is because they purposely placed themselves in positions where conventional wisdom and common practice had failed miserably. In that setting, they found truths that no one else had the stamina or mental discipline to search for. Then as you pointed out, they are willing to present and defend those truths; up until a better case is made.

When I present to entrenched campuses, it is better than even money that there will be a number of angry people when I finish. Invariably, a Central Office type will ask me if am I concerned by this fact. To which I respond, “Absolutely not. The only thing that concerns me is if I get nothing. I want them to stand up and cheer or get angry. If they truly agree, they should be emboldened to act. If they are truly mad, they have to reconsider their position in order to counter mine. If they can get past the emotion, then we are dealing with critical thinking, which creates an opportunity for growth and learning.”

Give me a team of three people who respect each other, work hard, and rarely agree and we’ll beat the kum-bay-ah crowd every time. Check that, give me the LYS Nation and we’ll change the world.

Think. Work. Achieve.

Your turn…