In Public Service Announcement from Barn on the Web - Daily Happenings, RJ talks about someone he heard about who was killed by a train because he had earbuds in his ears while jogging and didn’t hear the train. He mentions,
“Have you ever taken the same route all the time and you get so used to it you say I can drive it with my eyes closed? Well, when you jog, walk or run you normally take the same route and you get that used to the dogs, traffic and trains that you can actually NOT hear it.”
What a sad story! It reminds me how sometimes when I read or I get involved in a project, I tend to tune everything else out. I stop listening to what is going on around me and that is without having anything in my ears. I ignore all of the sounds, words, conversations that happening and may be important.
I wonder if that happens in the classroom too. I get so used to the usual classroom noises that I tend to tune them out. I know that certain students can be whiny and others can be needy, so I stop responding to them. I stop listening to the conversations that they are having with one another. Or I can be so involved in the lesson that I’m teaching, I don’t hear the unasked questions that are visible on their faces. I don’t hear them because I stopped listening.
I can learn a lot about what is going on in their lives but listening to the conversations that they are having with each others. Sometimes it is easier for them to share what is going in their lives with their peers than with an adult. I found out that one of my student’s parents were going through and ugly divorce which explained about the angry behavior I was seeing. Another student was worried that she might be pregnant and I was able to talk to her privately after class and get her some help. I also heard of some trouble between a couple of students that might happen and was able to head it off so no one got in trouble with the school.
I can learn a lot by “listening” to their body language. I can see that they are bored or confused and may be tuning me out. I need to find ways to get them to engage in the lesson. They might not know what questions to ask in order to get a better understanding of what I’m saying. I may need to stop and explore what they don’t understand.
I need to stop ignoring all of the sounds around me and actually start listening. It may be important and I don’t want to miss an opportunity like this.
Do you do this in the classroom? Are you listening? How do you pay attention? Please share.