Monday, July 27, 2009

Playing Nice with Others





After three weeks in class i feel like i have hit my stride. I know what's due and when. My classmates are familiar to me, I even like most of them. I can see the great potential in all of them, which is inspiring. The manageable workload is even fun and knowing that someone has to read my writings makes it even more enjoyable.

I know enough about blogs to recognize the negative effects they can have. One of my favorites (dooce.com) was written by a women who ended up loosing her job because of her writings about her coworkers, even though she never mentioned the names of the people or the company she worked for. Of course, there is that temptation to talk about all the people in my program, what bugs me about them... you know general gossip. As tempting as that is..., that will not be happening here.

As this blog evolves I am hoping to highlight some great examples of teaching. I like the idea of finding the happiest teacher in Santa Barbara. I figure that if I find the happiest one, they will have some great insights into what makes an effective, production and loving teacher. Does anyone know a happy teacher in Santa Barbara?

This week I wrote about the results of listening powerfully to people. Here is a sample:

Listening Powerfully
It is my commitment to listen powerfully for my classmates. I wish them the best and listen for them as teachers who already positively contribute to their students. Even if members of our cohorts are not currently working with kids, we are developing the skills and knowledge that will contribute to future benefit for others. As we lay the groundwork for future benefit for others, we are involved with an extremely important part of our teaching practice. When interacting with my teammates I attempt to keep this thought present in my mind, body and speech.

I believe that there is a result to listening for others in the best light. I know when people respect me, even if they do not agree with me, it is easier for me to communicate and get my point across. "Active Listening" is a great place to start when communicating with others. However, in some respects it fails to appreciate the important (but subtle) judgments we make about the speaker. We either have a supportive opinion about the person speaking (or their situation) or we have an unsupportive opinion. Either way we can affect the outcome of the speaker with the subtle judgments we make about them. The degree to which the speaker feels safe and respected is the degree to which they will be free to come to their best conclusions. That does not mean they will be able to solve every problem, but at least they will have the benefit of having been truly listen to by someone whom they feel respected by and seems to have their best interest in mind.

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