Today I had the wonderful opportunity to attend a workshop called Fierce Conversations with Deli Moussavi-Bock. It was incredibly inspiring and I was struck by the fact that so many of the truly fierce conversations that I have occur with Celina and our students every day as we build our community and our learning.
Having a "fierce conversation" is one in which you are speaking in your real voice and to the heart of the matter (which by the way Deli shared that the french root of courage is heart!). You are asking and listening, provoking learning, and enriching relationships. But most importantly the definition by Fierce (2011) is that when the conversation is over YOU are different! This was profound. Every time we ask our kids about their thinking, their insights, their revelations, we are astounded, amazed and changed.
As if reading my mind, Celina sent me a text at recess of the whiteboard in our room where the Brain Breakfast of the day was students' reflections on the quote: "The secret of education lies in respecting the pupil." by Ralph Waldo Emerson. One of our fifth graders added his thinking right next to the quote saying, "I find Ralph E's quote means that the better a student is treated the more they can learn and grow." One of our third graders wrote her reflection above his, saying, "What this means to me is that if you respect someone they will respect you back and learn the things you want them to learn and Bloom."
The kid connections, discussions, thoughtful responses, collaboration, and even the noise just signifies to me that we are living a fierce experience within our classroom on a daily basis. I prefer it to the alternative. Wouldn't you? ~ Ann
Fierce Conversations (2011) Seattle, WA: Fierce, Inc.