Hey there! I'm Vivian. Sometimes I write about life and sometimes I write about teaching.

A quick, random wondering…

I was just recently on a Zoom with a group of literacy coaches and leaders and a question I brought to the group was, “How do you support teachers when your values don’t align?” This led me to thinking about how there are people who have partners that are not politically aligned, like James Carville and Mary Matalin. This is not me and I don’t think it could be, but clearly people make this work. I really want to know. How does this work?

  1. Toni Bresnahan says:

    Such a great question. Thank you for sharing

  2. Anita Ferreri says:

    This is a great question and the answer from my perspective is yes, you can be in a relationship when you do not agree politically. The key to a relationship is honesty, respect and trust.

  3. pfornale says:

    This is an excellent question, particularly during these days of toxicity in political discourse. I am fortunate to have many friends and loved ones with whom my relationships have not suffered due to political differences.

    In a professional environment, perhaps the greatest challenge lies in a misalignment of professional values or pedagogical vision. Regrettably, I have seen careers compromised or harmed because of this. Most often, the harm results from personal animus that arises from differences that mature individuals should be able to discuss and accommodate. If some power differential is involved, the lower person in the hierarchy is vulnerable.

    Still, in a handful of rewarding instances, I have had colleagues who have agreed to share with students their differences with me. “Mr. Fornale and I differ on this, so he will use another approach with you. Still, we agree that presenting you different angles will give you more to consider, so with me, let’s examine the matter from this point of view.”

    Not every variance permits this kind of resolution; however, it sets a powerful example for students when they see grown-ups respect each other’s views.

  4. cmargocs says:

    This post is intriguing, because I was faced with this very situation when I inherited my “new” library. Every school librarian does things a bit differently, but the previous one did some things much differently than most in our district. Trying to bring the program in alignment with accepted norms has caused some raised eyebrows–and one slightly heated argument–among teachers who were used to doing things the “old way”. I am slowly gaining traction as they realize we all have the same goals in mind–creating lifelong learners and readers.

  5. arjeha says:

    I think it can work as long as there is respect if not agreement with each other’s views.

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