Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Power of Compromise

Learning how to compromise can be challenging. This morning students had to agree to a decision they were all okay with regarding something they wanted to earn back. 

They were given 20 minutes to take a stance and convince classmates of coming to their side. We definitely have some future lawyers and judges in here! 

At first most of the class wanted seats back in groups. One student wanted the reading corner and hallway seating area back. A handful of agents chose the Chromebooks and non-assigned spots in line. Students went around giving valid points for why they should earn their chosen side back first. They were able to narrow it down to two: The extra Chromebooks and the groups of desks. 

However they could not come to an agreement. I talked to them about learning how to compromise. Students discussed their personal meaning of the word, offering insightful comments.

We then looked up the word. According to Google it means “an agreement or a settlement of a dispute that is reached by each side making concessions.” Students will need to make some concessions. When making compromise students might not love the choice but have to be okay with it. They are spending time thinking this through and working with their classmates to reach an agreement.

We debated a second time this afternoon, and again students could not come to a compromise. However, their arguments are getting stronger. 

The Chromebook kids argued that some parents donated money for the Chromebooks and they want to honor that. They also want to go back to everyone having their own computer versus having to share or wait. They respected the opinions of the other group, who felt sitting in groups was a life skill to learn. They are also frustrated by the difficulty of talking to neighbors. It is not as easy as it used to be. I heard a lot of I agree with your idea but . . . I understand your thinking . . . however . . . I can see your point but think about . . . These students are learning valuable skills through this experience.  I suggested they go home this evening and talk to a parent or sibling or friend about how best to convince someone of your idea.

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