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[Weekly Inspiration] Why It’s Worth Listening to People You Disagree With

[Weekly Inspiration] Why It’s Worth Listening to People You Disagree With

Have you ever been around someone who you disagreed with so much that you didn’t even want to be in the same room with them? We’ve all encountered someone with different opinions than our own, and sometimes, it can be hard to be around because it causes tension, anxiety, and often, hurt feelings.

Zachary Wood delivers a powerful TED Talk on this exact situation. "Tuning out opposing viewpoints doesn't make them go away," Wood says. "To achieve progress in the face of adversity, we need a genuine commitment to gaining a deeper understanding of humanity."

In a time of division in our country, it’s important to find common ground with others. We cannot move forward and make progress if we don’t work toward a common goal. As a teacher, there are plenty of situations where you find yourself disagreeing with those you work with. Sometimes, you must put those differences aside to work together.

While it’s not always easy to work with someone you disagree with, it’s important to understand that opposing viewpoints are a part of life. Listening to others helps you to gain a new perspective and build empathy, which is an important lesson for students to learn as well. How can you teach your students about respectful listening and empathy this year?