I could say a lot in this post, but I don't think there is a way I could possibly say it better than Baileigh did. Baileigh, I am glad you are finding your voice. You are lucky to find yours at such a young age. It is a gift that will change your life. I wish I had found my voice sooner.
Thank you for being such a remarkable student and allowing me to learn from you just as you are learning from me.
I remember how nervous I was the night before the discussion, I was trying to decide what I would say and what it would be like. I had never done anything like this before. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I have never been much of a talker in or outside of class. I prefer listening because I always felt like that was how you were supposed to learn. The day of the pinwheel discussion really changed how I felt about that. I wanted to get it over with and have Ainsley question me, so I decided to go first. I was sitting there in the chair around the desk with all my peers surrounding me and I remember how bad my hands were shaking.
The question was did I care about speaking out and having a good grade or did I just want to do bare minimum? I realized at the end that bare minimum wasn’t an option. I had so much to say about all the questions and answers. There was so much back and forth conversation. It didn’t even really feel like a project or assessment. It felt more like a casual group of friends talking about something we had all done or had in common and the nerves just suddenly went away. I wasn’t nervous anymore, and I just wanted to say whatever I could without staying on the topic too long. I thought I would say something, and it wouldn’t get neglected or disregarded, but someone would put in their input and acknowledge my point. I felt so supported and comfortable which is a feeling I never thought I would have by a bunch of people I had never really talked to before.
As I said before I realized learning by listening can only teach you so much. You have to talk and share your opinions and give ideas for other people to build on because if everyone in the world decided to just learn by listening there would be nothing to listen to. Words have such a big impact. Whether it’s a how is your day going or a monumental speech like Martin Luther King Jr’s ‘I Have A Dream’. They can change how a person thinks or give them a new perspective on a topic, and that is such an amazing thing. I learned how my classmates think and how different their thoughts and ideas are from mine, but that’s a good thing. What kind of world would it be if we all had the same thoughts and feelings and ideas? I personally believe it would be very bland and somewhat pointless.
Ideas are what makes the world go round. This pinwheel discussion has changed my everyday life. I have been more engaged and active in the classroom and even outside of school. I am not as afraid to ask questions and give my opinion. In all honesty, I expected to have a quick meaningless discussion with some people I hardly knew about something that wasn’t overly important, but it ended up being a kind of life changing thing, and I could not be happier about it. I am very glad I decided to just shake off the nerves and be bold that day. It taught me a lesson that being quiet is not always a good thing. Sometimes you just need to be heard.