We’ve started our project about connecting students, seems okay so far, but we noticed something, we rarely listen. Before we went online, we started sharing our migration stories, what that meant to us, but no one really listened to the other stories.
One of the worries teachers have about incorporating technology (and one of mine as well) is how much it speeds things up. We need to slow down in elementary, and really think about why and how we interact with each other.
It got our whole class thinking about what does it mean to listen. We threw words around like “focus”, “pay attention”, “look at the person”, and other kinds of things. We couldn’t really define what those things looked like though. After some discussions and some personal blogging about listening some of the students had some great ideas. One student though about using only one or two tabs, that would keep her focused on the task at hand. One other student talked about the importance of finishing her work, and waiting until we finished.
We transferred these ideas over to “real” life. By keeping only one tab open, we’re only thinking about one thing (the conversation). By finishing your work before moving on, we’re going to wait until the person is finished before we think about responding. Some abstract ideas for sure, but we’re focusing on listening first.
I’ve been thinking about this for a couple of weeks. For research we’re learning to skim and scan, there are more opportunities to look at how to finish more books rather than re-read or read deeply. So much of what we’re doing is encouraging students to speed up, then we get frustrated when they don’t stop and listen to us. I really think we need to slow down.
Modelling this is going to be important for sure. How do we listen to our students, what does it mean to be a teacher, especially in a connectivist world? Lots of wonderings this week as we move forward.