Saturday, August 13, 2016

The Power of Listening and Response

A parent wrote to me recently with questions about the school year to come.

In the old days, the letter would have worried me, but now, with a servant leadership/partnership philosophy when it comes to the parent-teacher-student team, I saw the letter as an opportunity to team with the parent and start our year-long relationship focused on serving and teaching a child well.

Recently, I had a similar experience, I reached out with questions, and the response was the start of a good conversation and perhaps an opportunity to team down the line. The positivity and openness of the response was energizing and motivational, so different from the way you feel after a negative response or no response at all.

Also today's discussion at #satchat about making mistakes, "failing forward," and responsible risk, highlighted the role of positive response and good listening. Ira Socol's reminder that "Teachers need to do almost nothing but listen to kids the first week" of school highlights the importance of listening.

This is a good theme to take into the new school year as I focus on Teamwork, Observation/Reflection, Math/STEAM, and everyday learning. It seems so simple, but I know that to do it well takes practice and intent.