Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Hearing vs. Listening

In Listening is difficult from Seth Godin's Blog, Seth Godin states,

“Listening happens when we put in the effort to understand what it means.”

Students don’t need to learn how to hear but students need to learn how to listen. Teachers shouldn’t assume that students know how to listen.

Sometimes students hear the words, but they have trouble process what they are hearing. We tease my husband that he has a hearing problem, but I really think it is more of a processing problem. He has gone to the movies and gotten the free sound amplifier for hearing impaired to see if it helps him understand the movie better. He says it just makes what he hears louder but doesn’t help him understand the movie. Then he tried the free closed caption glasses with the movie, and he loved them. He can hear the sounds alright, but the closed captions made a world of difference!

When I give instructions, I may have a list of procedures for them to see as I go through the steps. I also need to make sure that I model what I want the students to do. This helps students who are auditory or visual learners.

Sometimes when I have a conversation with someone, my mind wanders. I hear what they are saying but I’m not really understanding their meaning. It almost sounds like “blah blah blah” in my head. I need to pay more attention to what they are saying and focusing on their meaning. My husband says he can tell when I do this because my eyes kind of glaze over but I think I can hide it pretty well. I’m sure my students can do the same thing.

After I give instructions and model expectations, I need to ask students to tell me what is expected. If a student cannot tell me this, either they weren’t listening or they might not really understand what I want them to do.

I also think it is important to make the list of procedures/instructions available to the student for reference. It can either be on a large poster sheet hung up on the board or the wall or individual sheets for each student. Eventually, as they get more practice, this “cheat sheet” won’t be needed anymore.

How do you help your students listen? Please share.

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