We often hear in the teaching world about ACTIVE LISTENING. But what is it actually? How does this translate into practice? What does it mean that I actively listen to a student? What are the results I should get? How can I recognize them?
Meanwhile, we can define active listening as an assertive communication technique, based on acceptance and empathy, useful not only to promote the ability to correctly and effectively express one’s emotions or arguments, but also to know how to listen and perceive the reasons and feelings of others, establishing that authentic contact that can become the basis for enriching and effective relationships. Active listening means ” connecting ” to the others, grasping every aspect of the message, the posture, the tone of voice, the hesitations and the emotions that emerge from what is said.
Active listening favors productive discussions in the classroom, overcomes the resistance of the students to learn new things helps kids and teens become independent and act for internal motivations and guarantees the formation of an environment in which to feel as safe and protected as free and understood. It tacitly generates a high degree of confidence in the teacher-student and student-student bond.
Let us remember that we teachers are a great point of reference and that we often become, more or less consciously, the SUPER HERO of our disciples. We know well that our pupils learn by imitation much more than what we want to teach them with our lessons. This means that the more teachers we become able to use active listening the more we will create in the classroom the ability to listen to each other in an attentive and effective way.
The most common mistakes we make when we listen and give answers are:
– Give answers without really listening to the question;
– Giving answers before the pupil has finished explaining her thoughts, we already know what she has to say;
– Listen only to part of what he says, deeming the rest superfluous;
– Listen thinking more about who is speaking than what he is saying. I know my pupil and identify him in a category;
– Respond by making a diagnosis;
– Give even obvious answers, preventing the pupil from thinking of a solution.
In the next news letter we will see some practical examples.
Your task this week is to try to write down in a notebook, how many times a day, you happen to find yourself in a situation listed above.