My daughter was very upset....
Voices from the BAM Radio Community sharing their thoughts, insights and teaching strategies.
They had been sent to me for pushing and shoving one another. Nothing major, but enough that they couldn't remain in the classroom. I had them sit down on the couch and I took a few minutes to decide how I wanted to handle this. It had been a busy day and I was frustrated that these young men couldn't just get long.
So I gave them a choice.
I told them that they were either going to be sent home or they could take the blocks and Legos and build me something nice. And I emphasized the word nice. I'm not really sure why. There was only so much that they could create with the limited number of materials I gave them to work with. What they created in just a short amount of time was quite impressive....
A, B, C, D , E, F, G..
This was a question that my daughter posed to me several years ago and I had absolutely no idea how to answer it. And I thought that was pretty cool! Kids’ brains work in ways that we can’t even imagine.
My concern is that we are not taking full advantage of this gift we have right before our very eyes. Our children and our students have the benefit of experiencing many of life’s moments prima facie, and because they are experiencing these moments for the first time, their take on them is pristine.
H, I, J, K …...
There are certain things we just don't talk about in public. Sex, politics & religion are often found at the top of this taboo list. Anytime we speak of them in mixed company we risk crossing a line. And we don't want to cross that line, now do we? But some folks aren't the least bit worried about crossing the line. They do it all the time. The problem with this, as I see it, is that those that have no trouble crossing the line are the ones that we really never wanted to hear from in the first place. So their voices are the only ones that get heard. And they sound louder than they really are because the rest of us are silent (myself included).
Think about it for a moment.
Whose voices do you hear?
More importantly, whose voices are our children hearing?...
There is a big difference between hearing and listening. Hearing simply requires us to allow the sound to go into our ears. Listening on the other hand, requires us to think about and reflect on what he have heard. In education listening can be difficult because we are often thinking of many things at once. We hear a lot during the course of the day, but how much do we listen?
First and foremost, we must listen to our students. When a child takes the initiative to come to us, we must listen. If this means stopping whatever task we think is more important at the time, then we stop. Many of our students are not listened to at home so they feel that they have no voice. School might be the only place that someone will listen to them. Listening to students does not always require large blocks of time. It does however require large amounts of focus. If it is 30 seconds in the hallway, do it. If it is 5 minutes in your office, give it. If it is 30 minutes to de-escalate or problem solve, provide it. Please, please, please give your students a chance to have a voice.
But a bird that stalks down his narrow cage can seldom see through his bars of rage his wings are clipped and his feet are tied so he opens his throat to sing....