Monday, April 12, 2010

#MissionMonday - Listen

Happy Monday everyone! For some of us, we are getting back from a very relaxing break and are hitting the home stretch of the school year. I hope you are nice and relaxed and ready to grind out the last 10 weeks or so.

Today's #MissionMonday is hardest simple thing to do. I want all of you to listen today. Listen to your students, listen to your colleagues, listen to your friends and listen to anyone else you see today. I'm sure many of you have a wierd look on their face, so let me explain.

As an English teacher, I will assign reading to my students. The next day they will come back and tell me they have read the chapter. When we start discussing it, some of them have blank stares. They say they just can't remember it, but they read. I told them they read the words, but they did not actually read the chapter.

Listening and hearing are not the same thing.You might register the words coming out of someone's mouth, but are you really listening to them? I always try to keep an eye on my class when I'm talking to students to make sure everything is ok. I'm hearing the student talk, but I'm not listening all of the time. It's a tough job for teachers, but it is something we have to master. We need to listen to our students when the talk because it's not what they say sometimes, it's what they didn't say or even how they said it.

Your Mission, if you choose to accept it, is to listen to people this week. Take the time and give people the attention they need and listen to them. You might be surprised and what you will hear. :-)

- @TheNerdyTeacher


  1. I will try to do a better job at this. Usually, I just go through the day with an Evil Plan, rather than a mission, so this is a good challenge for me!

  2. I am happy to report: Mission Complete. I got the unexpected privilege of helping a student who was new to the US in August, write down her memories of Africa. It was fun to really listen to her talk about her experiences. I am amazed at her grasp of the English language and her sense of humor. She picked up American sarcasm in no time at all.

  3. Good mission! Sometimes I have a hard time "listening" because I am so used to "whining" that I tune students out...which is bad because I might be missing something good or important!


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