I Disagree


Goal 27: I Disagree of The 30 Goals Challenge for Educators

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

This year’s 30 Goals Challenge theme is, “This is MY Moment.” Each goal focuses on getting educators to believe their plans of action now will lead to positive changes and transformation in their teaching and learning environments. Join our our 30 Goals Facebook community to vote on goals and receive support.

My Reflection

Often when we become part of a community, we feel a sense of acceptance and belonging. Too often we may offer support and encouragement and fear challenging ideas. In every community, we need to learn to accept different view points and offer different view points, respectfully. The focus shouldn’t be on the individual posting the idea, rather we should strive to debate the idea or premise itself. Only through debate can we learn about other perspectives and challenge our own beliefs. I was happy to read Theodora’s thought-provoking post about student and teacher relationships, which is an excellent example of this goal. The new challenge is to see if our community can debate this issue, respectfully, without attacking anyone or ostracizing them.

Are We Guilty?

I spend a lot of time online reading blogs and participating in online discussions. I observe the communication taking place and too often it isn’t respectful or kind. Some of us do not know how to disagree respectfully. We take disagreements as personal attacks or fail to respond to specific points or issues brought up in the argument. Sometimes, I’ve seen those who disagree become the victims of a group attack or they become ostracized or attacked for their opinion. I read posts from teachers who criticize an event, idea, instructional practice, institution, policy, organization, ceremony or presentation and they are never invited back or included in future events.

Why do we do this when we should strive to be the example for our students? Our students are heavily influenced by their peers. The consequences of standing up against an idea or action often means they will be bullied or attacked. Educators want to prevent this, but sometimes we are guilty of this ourselves.

Part of the problem is we don’t know how to proceed when our ideas are challenged or we want to challenge ideas. Perhaps, you could leave some advice or share your experiences in the comments below.

For this goal:

Let others know, in a respectful way, what you disagree about that you believe is generally accepted. This maybe in one of your online communities, during a Twitter chat, at a staff meeting, or during a conversation. Provide an opportunity for your students to discuss what they disagree with that they believe others their age generally accept. Make sure you establish rules with your students on how to respect differences of opinion and welcome them. We want our learners to feel safe sharing their opinions and not be bullied for them.


Tell us what you disagree about and challenge your students to do the same.

Please leave a comment that you accomplished this goal by either posting your own video reflection on Youtube, using the hashtag #30GoalsEdu, posting on the 30 Goals Facebook group, or adding a comment below! All goals are organized in this 30 Goals Livebinder.

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Shelly Terrell

Shelly Sanchez Terrell (@ShellTerrell) is an award winning digital innovator, an international speaker/consultant, and the author of Hacking Digital Learning with EdTech Missions, The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers, and Learning to Go. She has trained teachers and taught English language learners in over 20 countries as an invited guest expert by organizations, like the US Embassy, UNESCO Bangkok, Cultura Inglesa of Brazil, the British Council in Tel Aviv, IATEFL Slovenia, HUPE Croatia, ISTEK Turkey, and Venezuela TESOL. She has been recognized by several organizations and publications as a leader in the movement of teacher driven professional development as the founder and organizer of various online conferences, Twitter chats, and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Two of the projects she co-organized were shortlisted for ELTons, #ELTChat and the Virtual Round Table Language and Technology online conference. She was named Woman of the Year by the National Association of Professional Women, awarded a Bammy Award as a founder of #Edchat, and named as one of the 10 Most Influential People in EdTech by Tech & Learning. Her greatest joy is being the mother of baby Savannah and Rosco the pug. Shelly has an Honors BA in English with a Minor in Communication and a specialization in Electronic Media from UTSA, a Masters in Curriculum Instruction ESL from the University of Phoenix, and a CELTA from CELT Athens. She regularly shares her tips for effective technology integration via Twitter (@ShellTerrell), Facebook.com/ShellyTerrell, and on her blog, TeacherRebootCamp.com, which has won several awards and recognitions as one of the top ESL, Edtech and Elearning blogs. Find over 400 of her slide presentations at https://www.slideshare.net/ShellTerrell/presentations

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