The Power of Sharing Perspectives
Welcome to the JECELI Chicago January Seminar! It was a day of listening, accepting without agreeing, working to discover shared thinking, and considering what to do in the context of working with families.
Usually, there are a wide variety of materials provided for the group but today each of the Fellows brought in a bag of “beautiful stuff.” There were many interesting and curious items in the mix. The folks at every table made decisions about how to organize this recycled material: some by shape, some by use, and at least one by a story line. We considered: how could we use this exercise to acquire interesting materials for children to use in the classroom, and engage parents with classroom life?
Nick Weschler was our featured speaker, and he took us through several exercises to give us practice in truly listening to each others’ stories. In the process, he helped us see that we could validate others’ (and our own) feelings and thoughts. In a safe and caring space, directors, teachers, children, and family members can share their perspectives and work toward providing the most meaningful communities for all involved. Nick provided us with a number of important articles.
A main takeaway from the day, both from research and from experience, was that collaboration leads to happiness!