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edu180atl: julia osteen 10.12.12

On a day to day basis I do so many things. I am a teacher, mentor, facilitator, leader, motivator, inspirer, technology integrator, colleague, and friend. Above all I am a learner. With all of these hats come unique perspectives. Our own life experiences along with our personality influence the way we perceive things.

Have you ever had the experience of being in a group or meeting only to find out later from others who attended that your perspective did not match up at all with others who were there? This seems to happen to me a lot and I am often left scratching my head.

There is an old maxim that says, “Position determines perspective.” One blog describes “position” in this saying as meaning “historical experiences, choices available to us, where we sit, and what we can see from where we sit.” (View from the Bridge, January, 2009.)

I often talk to different teachers at school who don’t understand what goes on in other levels of our school. The problem is that they can’t “see” the reasons from “where they sit.” Their perspective is different.

As teachers, we deal with different groups and need to empathize with each group’s perspective. Today, I realized that approaching each situation as a learning experience is truly the key to achieving empathy. If our stance is to learn as much as possible about those around us, then we can truly walk in the footsteps of the other person.

Do you see what I see?

About the author: Julia Osteen, (@josteen) is a  Christian, Wife, Mother, Sister, JH Teacher, Technology Integration Chair, Ed Tech Consultant, and lover of music.

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3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Stephen G. Kennedy #

    Nicely said. That’s why “musical chairs” could well be the ultimate psychological game to develop empathy and understanding!

    October 13, 2012
  2. Rebekah W. #

    I really like the way you put it. I can totally understand that people have different perspectives. Though sometimes a change in perspective can be good.

    October 13, 2012
  3. Cason #

    Julia, your post echoes something I often think about as a teacher. I like your positive approach to a solution: build empathy rather than focus of what makes each teacher/administrator/school community member’s perspective different.

    Thank you! I will take this to school with me on Monday!

    October 13, 2012

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