An Elephant in the Classroom: Part 1

Written by on October 18, 2011


When someone says, “Gee, there’s an elephant in the room.”  He is referring to a common situation in which something has been said or done and yet no one who obviously has heard or witnessed the event says anything about it.    Everyone in the room simply ignores what is so obvious or they all just “talk around” the subject.   You might here about “the elephant in the room”  in a leadership or communication course in which the facilitator is trying to get the students to be more direct, to address all issues on the table, or to talk about that topic which is really obvious but unpleasant.

We encounter “the elephant”  all the time at family gatherings, in casual conversations, in training sessions, and in classrooms around the world.     Sometimes we ignore “the elephant”—despite it’s size—because we don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings or because we ourselves feel inadequate to face the topic.  And many times, it may be better to simply “let quiet elephants stay quiet.”

As an ATA instructor, however, there is one elephant that will make regular appearances in your classrooms, and if you expect to be viewed as a real professional, if you expect parents to believe the money they are spending is really well-spent, you had better stop the class, embrace the elephant, and explain to the parents and students how it got there and what you are going to do about it.

So what is the “elephant” in the ATA classroom?



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