Diplomacy in the Classroom Part 2

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Today’s video conference with the students of Plymstock, England was a bit different from the previous one; this one more of an opinionated debate. I once again hesitated to speak up simply because I am rather timid and prefer not to be the center of attention when speaking; though I definitely had some things to say. For example, when we were discussing the Syrian Civil War and how England wanted to retaliate on Syria for the ISIS attacks on Paris, I wanted to address historical similarities and my personal opinion on the matter. Some students did, however, make valid points and appointed their own views in a mature fashion. Feeling relatively rushed, I feel we didn’t get to go as deep as we may have liked to on certain topics.

Personally, I think a good conversation of this kind needs patient listening.  In America we are used to “facilitating: a discussion and end up saying far more than necessary.  I noticed that the first facilitator we had in session one was from Great Britain. He gave us a good amount of time to listen and form our ideas without pushing his ideas into the conversation.  He did not focus on telling us how to ask questions to each other. If we had the opportunity to ask our own questions, professionally of course, then the conversation would have sounded less robotic and more rich in valuable conversation.