Listening Closely

The school year has just begun, but I’m really trying to focus on my new “one word” goal: listening. When I thought about all of the different people that I would need to work on listening to — from my students to my colleagues — I forgot about another important person: me.

Since school began, I’ve found myself listening more and more to what I say. I can’t tell you the number of times after I’ve spoken that I’ve started to wonder,

  • Could I have worded that differently?
  • Why am I talking now?
  • Is this really that important?
  • How could I use a Plan A approach, after being so determined to use a Plan B approach this year?
  • Am I making the situation worse? How could I make it better?
  • Why am I interrupting?
  • Am I really hearing what this person has to say?

It’s interesting to me that as I listen more in the classroom and at school, I don’t just hear the responses from others, but I hear myself more clearly. I wonder a lot about how I could improve, and I think a lot about how I would do things differently. Slowly I’m making changes and I’m determined to make more.

How do you slow down and listen to yourself? Do you find yourself modifying your approaches based on what you hear? I’m slowly starting to realize that as hard as it is to listen to myself, there’s a lot of value in being that “critical listener.”


2 thoughts on “Listening Closely

  1. I don’t know anyone on line or in person that listens to themselves through their reflections as you! Your listening/questioning/reflections have been such an influence on my teaching practices, even now in my retirement. I get to share what I learn with you with PLN and colleagues at my school, We have learned to make time to listen to others, now it is time to listen to ourselves as well. Thanks for such an important reminder.

    • Thank you so much, Faige! I do like the ability to blog/reflect online, but I really think that slowing down and focusing on listening this year has helped me really “hear” what I say. Do I always like it? What could I say instead? When could I maybe say nothing at all? These questions are ones that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately.

      On another note, when we do share online, we often have this “invisible audience.” Sometimes it’s hard to know if others are reading, what they’re thinking, and if our sharing is heard. Thanks for letting me know that it is! That means a lot. I so love interacting with you online, and I love how your reflections/sharing push my thinking as well. One day, I really hope we’ll be able to meet in person.


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