Resolve To Listen
For the next couple of weeks, as the beginning of my school year approaches. I'm going to write to renew my resolve to keep focus in my practice. This is one of that series of posts.
It is easy to stop listening.
Oh, it's easy to act like you're listening, to look like you're listening. People take management classes on how to fake listening (not that it's described in those terms), to pretend to listen ads a way to get "buy-in," to get people to imagine that they had something to do with what ultimately happened.
And it's easy to slip into the habit of just letting others' words wash over you as you wait for the chance to say what you want to say. It's really easy to do that in a classroom if you actually have a plan for what you intend to say today. You can actually become impatient with students who are still talking while you are anxious watching the clock and thinking about the Three Important Aspects of American Critical Realism that you planned to talk about before that bell rings in just seven minutes and forty-seven seconds and dammit, Pat, just stop talking so I can start talking!
And there's more to listening than just the pedagogical and instructional parts. There are the interruptions, the times between class, the moments that seem off the wall. They can seem random, annoying, disruptive, and yet they mostly are encrypted versions of messages that students are either unwilling or unable to deliver more directly. I can slap a student down and silence them CURMUDGUCATION: Resolve To Listen: