Wednesday, September 24, 2008

What voices have you heard?

What voices have you heard from your students? There has been a lot of talk about it is not what we teach but what we as teachers are also learning. So my question once again is what voices have you heard from your students? Is it the voice of being "powered down" because of what is not taking place in the school? Is it the voice of what is going on this weekend with anticipation? Or is it the voice of the girl who is so stone cold due to home that you wonder if she will ever warm up? Or is that a front so you will leave her alone? Or the young man who is loud and boisterous and always has something smart to say? Or is that a front that he is scared? Or is it the silent voice of the young person in the back row that you would never know was there because all they want to do is to be invisible to the whole world but yet there is a body there in that desk?

Yes we need to be learners, yes we need to model all the "it's not the technology, it'sthe tools" we can, but better yet, we need to be open to our students so that they bring whatever voice they have and we help them and ourselves become the most literate, 21st century people we can be. It is their future not ours but in order to bring them to it, we have to know them, we have to hear their voice, we have to know what their voice is truly saying, thinking, feeling and asking, even though their voice does not say it out loud.

Yes we need to learn. But more importantly we need to open our ears and our eyes because we don't teach subjects. We need to learn how to better work with our students and we do that by truly hearing their voices. Learning is messy and that is OK, life is also messy and that can be OK too.

What voices have you heard since school started?


dean shareski said...

I was fortunate to sit in on a student panel last week focusing on their assessment experiences. Among the myriad of ideas expressed, they struggled to articulate what was really a very simple concept. They wished some teachers would be nicer. While this seems like a given, you and I both know that many of our teachers aren't all that interested in students. They struggle with listening to students who struggle, mostly because school and learning came easy to them.

Interestingly enough, I can't really think of any of my online co-hearts who aren't nice. The transparency, thoughtfulness and fun we have may be just who we are but certainly it's contagious and promotes listening and caring. At least for me.

mrsdurff said...

I hear so many saying that they hate their families and they are searching for something. I wonder what they will find and am I preparing these students to evaluate those things they seek?

Paul R. Wood said...

Dean, so true what you have said. I can see those teachers that do struggle with kids who really need someone to reach out to them. Hopefully we can model the right things for those teachers that much more. Thanks for the comment.

Mrs. Durff, you can only give them your best and give them what you know is good. I talk about some of the "old school" training when I first started teaching and I tell people all the time "old school will carry you a long way in doing what is right." To me that is very important. Thanks for stopping by and I will see you online.