Dialogue training with students, parents helps to prepare for Cor Unum week


Elise Vulakh

Sophomores Amelia Abernethy and Shelby Low discuss dialogue with faculty and members of the parents association. The discussion was meant to inform parents of the takeaways that students had from their experience in training.

Elise Vulakh, Reporter

Some students and teachers who attended last year’s dialogue training in April and the Student Diversity Leadership Conference gathered with members of the parents association to discuss how to engage with one another in a spirit of constructive understanding.

The conversation built off of the topics discussed in last year’s training and offered a preview of this year’s Cor Unum Week in April and how language and the power of words can be positive if used the right way. 

“School leaders work in partnership with parents and students so it felt important to share the framework of dialogue with the parent community,” Chief Advancement Officer Sarah Leffert said. “This year’s Cor Unum week will give faculty and students the opportunity to practice and deepen dialogue skills.”

Students discussed their main takeaways from their attendance at previous dialogue training sessions and the SDLC conference. Later, parents, students, and faculty split into smaller groups where they engaged in dialogue and had the opportunity to ask questions. 

“It’s important for parents to listen to us because what they learn in that one hour they can tell their kids which will spread the message to a wider community,” junior Saron Asfaw said. “I found it interesting they were willing to learn from us as students.”

Students shared the importance of dialogue with the adults in their group. 

“Dialogue leads to a higher level of thinking because though engaging in it we learn how to respectfully respond to a range of viewpoints,” sophomore Amelia Abernethy said. “I look forward to more opportunities like today to participate in dialogue.” 

The importance of dialogue will be implemented and taught in next month’s Cor Unum week, focused on the power of language. 

“This morning’s meeting clearly demonstrated that parents, students and faculty alike want to be a part of a community that values active listening, introspection and reflection– core skills of dialogue,” Leffert said.