Monday, March 13, 2017

3SOL17 13/31 - Listen

Today I realized that sometimes I spend so much time controlling the oral outpourings of my students (3rd graders) that I miss the pleasure of hearing what they have to say. Understandably (I hope!) it's usually when I'm attempting to convey some kind of information - directions, information, strategies, hey, even wisdom once in a while. And these kids love to talk, bless their chatty little hearts and mouths. But sometimes there can be joy in just letting it flow, and being a fly on the wall.

It happened in the afternoon while they were painting their salt dough models of Portland topography. (Portland in a Pizza Box, I like to call it.) They were painting, and I was refilling little cups of acrylic paint. It's a small class, and they know each other really well, most having been together since K or even longer. So they're more than just classmates. Its often more like family, with all the negatives along with the positives. Anyway, They started a conversation around the room. Almost all of them took part, which is kind of rare. And their voices didn't automatically escalate to "outdoor level", also a rarity. I can't even remember what they were talking about, but it was such an easy give and take, conveyed with a dash of humor, and a big helping of idiosyncratic personalities. It was a pleasure just to hear them as people, not just as students. Of course, I had to spoil the party after a while, pointing out that there was way more chatting going on than painting, and it was time to finish this project, and yadda yadda wahhh wahhh wahhh....

But it was really nice while it lasted. I've got to remember that.


  1. "I miss the pleasure of hearing what they have to say"--that line struck me. Not because I'm a teacher, but because I'm a mom of three and the cacophony sometimes kills me. But I love them! But the noise. But I need to listen...thank you for this little reminder. :)

  2. Your line, "But sometimes there can be joy in just letting it flow, and being a fly on the wall," popped out at me. I am a proponent of joyful learning so the buzz of student conversations that are shared, enjoyed, and lead to additional thoughts is music to my ears, Rand. I'm glad that you were able to listen in.

  3. What a great experience to have with your students. Love that you let them go and converse for a good while (of course, all good things must come to an end!). I love these words early on, "controlling the oral outpouring" - truly, it is outpouring, I know!