Barbershop Conversations: A New Series
The turkey has settled and I’m finally getting back into work-mode. I enjoyed this last week with family and friends that I haven’t see in quite some time and had much to express thanks for this Thanksgiving.
In addition to annual Thanksgiving traditions, I also have a more frequent tradition of getting a haircut by the same barber, on the same day, once every three weeks, and have been doing so for nearly seven years now. While I’m receiving a haircut, we discuss things that showcase our knowledge within our respective fields of interest. He teaches me a lot about hunting, fishing, and home construction, while I keep him informed about issues in education.
As he dispels some of the myths I’ve held surrounding hunting and fishing, I attempt to dispel issues surrounding education; more specifically, education technology. There’s no formal structure to our conversations, but typically, both of us are looking for an opportunity to share our thoughts (which can lead to both of us talking and neither of us listening).
For example, last week, I learned how to properly build an outdoor patio. It’s a project I’ve toyed around with for a while, but had too many questions and concerns that kept me from taking action. He addressed my concerns and taught me other things I needed to be aware of, such as the location of my frost line.
Most recently, we also had the opportunity to discuss the subject of students and teachers “friending” each other on Facebook. I realize that the vast majority of us have our opinions on this subject, and many of these opinions are reflected in our schools’ policies concerning this issue. However, my barber had no idea that many districts have policies governing student/teacher relationships on social networking sites.
I feel that the thoughts of my barber characterize the thoughts of the general population outside of education. This barbershop model of open communication should be something we strive to implement with our staff, coworkers, students, and even personal relationships that may be lacking. Nobody “knows it all” but we all have something to share that can serve to the benefit of others.
Henceforth, I’ll be posting snippets of our conversations that are relevant to education in the series category titled Barbershop Conversations. Later this week, I’ll have our conversation about Facebook in education posted, along with additional insight and ways to address the subject with others who have similar opinions as my barber. Feel free to leave your comments, insight, opinions, ideas, etc. in the comments section of each post.