Sometimes your opinion doesn’t matter.

Two weeks ago I put on a play and in class the next week a child said to me

Ms. Schwartz, to be honest, I didn’t really like the play.

He was not in the play he just felt as though I need to hear this. Here is the conversation that followed:

Me: [Child name] anytime you think to start a sentence with “to be honest” probably you don’t need to finish it.

Child: So you don’t want me to be honest? (no sass at all, genuine curiosity)

Me: Nope, that’s not what I said but any sentence that starts with “to be honest” tends to be mean.  And let’s talk about giving feedback.  Before you share think about the following:

1. Is what your saying helpful? Will it change the outcome of what you are giving feedback on? In this case nope.

2. Is it kind? In this case nope.

And lastly, maybe most important: 3. Did anyone ask? I definitely did not.

I promise if this sounds mean it wasn’t.

But sometimes dear child your opinion doesn’t matter.  More importantly it’s neither helpful, kind, nor requested.

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3 thoughts on “Sometimes your opinion doesn’t matter.

  1. When I taught middle school, the phrase I pretty much outlawed was “But I was just….” — because if you’re starting with that, you already know you shouldn’t have been doing it.

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