I happen to see this post on Twitter stream this morning by @TheNerdyTeacher: #MissionMonday ~ Listen.
Here’s a short excerpt:
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 weird look on their face, so let me explain…[the blog post goes on to end with] 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. 🙂
You see, LISTENING IS a skill I teach.
I tell my students, “listen” for melodies, phrase structures, harmonic changes, styles, rhythm, tempo changes, to their singing voices, to other students’ voices AND to every word I say. While I was reading this post, though, I had a moment to think about how much I give them my undivided attention. I critically listen to what they are producing, and I am pretty content to give them an immediate feedback.
I have to confess. I am always busy – thinking of ways to answer questions, to solve problems, to guide and help students or anyone I am with….all good things, but I wonder how much I am really giving them my full attention. I wonder how much of good conversations, learning opportunities, and reflections I have missed by not paying attention to the people around me…
Confession: I think I have a “giving people an intense glazed” look. Translation: “Uh-huh, I am kind of paying attention, but am really thinking about something else”. Need. To. Stop. This. Now.
So I accept @TheNerdyTeacher’s challenge. I want to stop being so busy, overwhelmed by new information or anything that keeps me from getting to know people. I don’t want to just give a pretty convincing look like this cute cat, but want to really be involved.
People in my life deserve more. I am going to keep working on this after this week.
More of them. Less of me.
Check in once in a while and see my progress!
Picture: I Can Stare for a Thousand Years by eNil on Flickr, CC.