Thursday, September 1, 2016

My goal for this school year: Listen DEEPLY

Listen. Listen. Listen. Allow yourself to be silent and actively, intentionally listen. 

That is my mantra for this new school year. One of the gifts of being a teacher is that each Fall is, in fact, a new year. It is a time of renewal and continued growth. I hope that my growth this year will come from my efforts to listen deeply to my students, my peers, and my heart.

Each day I am presented with an abundance of messages from my youngest learner, my second grade daughter, to the most experienced learners around me, other adults. Allowing oneself to listen can take patience, concerted effort, and a giving way of the need to be heard. What can I learn from others - not only from their words but from the ways that they express their words? What messages are conveyed in the overt and subtle ideas, emotions, experiences, and questions of others? How will this deeper listening help me develop greater empathy?

Deep listening takes time. One is forced to slow down and process what is being shared. Living in a teaching schedule causes one to experience life in timed segments punctuated by bells that tell us to change to the next class, event, or activity. By focusing on deep listening, I can slow down portions of the day. I can focus on moments that matter rather than racing to the next thing. This is going to take energy to shift my daily pace to make time for meaningful moments. I truly believe that I will benefit from these efforts and I hope that my students and those around me will, too.

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