Conversations

I spent part of today talking quietly with individual students. We talked about their responses to a survey I had asked them to fill out yesterday.

These brief talks with my students felt strange at first; it wasn’t until later that I realized why.

Nevertheless, I continued to meet with my students throughout the day. I didn’t ask them about every response they gave on the survey, only those that stood out for me in some way.

The conversations were enlightening: my students want to be heard. And, although I thought I had been listening, maybe I hadn’t.

And, that’s why these conversations felt strange at first. I realized that it had been a long time since had I sat down with any of my students. I had been far to busy “doing” instead of listening, talking, and learning from them. I had neglected our classroom community. And, that’s why these conversations felt strange.

So, what did I learn today? Simple: I need to take the time to talk with my students, one-on-one. I need to do this as often as possible. I need to give my students many opportunities to think about things that are important to them. To tell me what’s bothering them. To make sure they feel reassured that I am listening to them.

Not rocket science, but certainly an important reminder as we head into the last half of the school year.

Thank you to Christina Nosek for sharing her Google Doc on social media. It gave me a place to start having these much-needed conversations.

Cross posted to Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Tuesday.

 

8 thoughts on “Conversations

    • Yes, intellectually I know that conversations are important. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in all the doing things that I ignore, not intentionally, the importance of making deep connections with students.

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  1. ” Simple: I need to take the time to talk with my students, one-on-one. ”

    Such a simple statement, yet, it’s so powerful. They want that attention, “to be heard” (like Brian pointed out above me), and all that is required: us and our time. Thanks for pointing this out to us! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your comment, Darin. One thing I’ve been thinking about lately is that these conversations, in whatever subject, need to be about something. Quick chats are OK, but the real stuff happens when you can talk about a story or a comment a student made. More on this in a future post.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I remember feeling this way with my class. It’s so hard to fit in everything that’s required, I would not let them talk about tv or video games. But actually hearing students is the most important thing. Having a focus will help accomplish their needs to be heard and our needs as teachers to have classroom structure.

        Liked by 1 person

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