Another of my Truths is that I can’t stand opposition and disrespect! Yesterday, I was taken to task by a student who decided he would stop working and shut down 10 minutes before the end of class. Why? He said he had enough and was done for the day.
A certain amount of opposition is a great help to man. Kites rise against, not with, the wind.Lewis Mumford
As I processed what happened with the student at that moment, I realized that he was personally struggling with the lesson and needed my assistance. However, asking me for help in front of his peers is not cool either. So he did what made sense – QUIT!
I considered his action disrespectful not because he wanted to quit, but because he refused to listen and follow my direction to continue until the usual timer goes off. Also, he was making snide comments and challenging me in front of his peers (not the first time by the way).
Over the years, I learned to oppose with kindness in situations I did not agree with. This means to respectfully disagree with a smile while keeping all parties feelings in perspective. When I oppose something, there are some underlying reasons. That is where I turn my attention. Often I gain a greater understanding in the long run once I take the time to have a dialog and figure out those reasons.
Again, it was okay for the student to oppose completing the task. It was not okay to be disrespectful about it. He shut the door and would not allow me in at that point. Of course, he is young and immature; but if this behavior isn’t checked, he will carry it into adulthood. Then, there will be far greater implications and consequences.
The next time you are faced with opposition or oppose something yourself, assess how you handle the situation and note how much you learn from it as long as you don’t rush to shut the door!