EPISODE 12 – Are YOU Listening?

Spent the weekend at a pumpkin patch watching kids taking pictures and parents taking pictures of kids.  This must have some effect on their developmental growth; seeing themselves that often. If anything , it adds to the idea that we all learn in an environment of relationships! And since *** LEARNING IS ORGANIC (constantly happening)***our students are constantly learning about themselves through social media, the internet, and the things and people they encounter in their lives.

FACT: Our students lives are more connected than ever requiring an emotional skill set never before needed that must also be nurtured and guided.

Sooooo…..

– So when a teacher has a hands off approach…
– When a teacher does not form a connection with their students…
– When the educational system is more concerned with testing and compliance than with social/emotional growth (which goes hand in hand with learning)

We loose that connection with out students

As a result…
– Students become misguided as to what school can be
– Students passions become extinguished and eliminated because their inner fuel becomes less

The question is therefore, “Are WE connecting with our students?”

Are WE LISTENING?

More to the point; What should we be listening to?

ISSUES (two things)

1) biological issues
–  hunger, thirst, health issues, sleep deprivation
– give them food, let them sleep

2) emotional issues
– sadness, depression AND excitement, passion, exhilaration
– modify lessons to cater to these kids, appeal to their interests
– amplify their positive emotional states
– we may not be able to resolve their issues, but the least we can do is acknowledge, their state, affirm their existence, their being, and do our best to make it a positive…. Let them know that maybe we can fix that issue, but they can at least compete the work, answer the problem, etc… and that’s something they can do
– Sometimes giving them something constructive to do is important

LISTEN FOR OPPORTUNITY

3) reinforcement
– there will ALWAYS be opportunities for reinforcement… NECESSARY AT THE BEGINNING OF ANY RELATIONSHIP
–  they will sometimes reinforce on their own
– consistency

4) praise
– look for opportunities for praise
– that’s the best way you can ensure a behavior will be repeated
– Brain is all about reward system, new synapses are constantly growing, give them an emotional reward
– call students by name, high five, a pat on the back, hugs
– are you excited? Scream Yes!
– group claps
– students will copy this model behavior and create a self sustaining classroom… POSITIVE PEER PRESSURE
– you are the ULTIMATE SUPERMODEL… strut!

5) growth
– kids should be growing,
– acknowledge growth, improvement, betterment, opportunities
– every challenge is an opportunity for growth
– no busy work, opportunities for growth

Underlying all of this is kindness
– If you give kids kindness… you create a sacred space where they can develop courage… which helps them face their fears and overcome obstacles

– in the classroom and personally

BE KIND… so your students have the space to be courageous!

And make sure every lesson, ever interaction, everything you do, is sealed with your smile 😊

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