Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Stop and Listen

“And how about you? What have you seen or enjoyed lately, that you would have missed out on if you'd rushed by it?”

I love to go hiking and enjoy nature. Many times I’m with my hiking group and I’m busy talking and socializing so I don’t pay attention as much as I should. When it is just my husband and myself, we tend to hike slower and look closer for things in nature. He is good about seeing things that move so he can spot a snake, a salamander, or an insect faster than I can. I like to look for color and always looking for a wildflower that I can identify or try to figure out what it is.

I think I feel that way about teaching sometimes. I’m so intent on following a procedure and working towards the end goal that I sometimes forget to enjoy the process. Sometimes it isn’t always about the end result as much as the journey to get there. When I slow my teaching down, I can listen to my students’ comments and hear what they are struggling with or what they have discovered. Both are so helpful with future learning! By doing this, I can also help them celebrate the small victories and small steps toward success which makes moving forward easier.

I remember teaching my student the sounds of letters and how to put them together. When he first learned to sound out a word, he (and his family) were thrilled. This was more exciting than when he read a whole paragraph!

I remember when I was teaching my student to add numbers. First we used concrete models to see how everything looked like. When he was able to solve his first problem on paper, it was a thrilling momen! It was better than when he was able to answer a whole sheet of problems.

Sometimes I forget that the actual learning can also be as much fun as reaching the goal!

What lessons in your classroom have you enjoyed because you didn’t rush by it? Please share.

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