I attended the Better Conversations workshop with Jim Knight.
It was a half-day workshop, and honestly, it was one of the better workshops I’ve attended. Such a simple concept. We’re teachers– we talk all the time, right?
But are we really listening? Are we conveying our message as effectively as possible? Are we making an effort to create meaningful relationships and partnerships?
It got me thinking about my body language, proximity, eye contact, tone of voice, etc., with my students. I’m going to make more of an effort to make sure all my students feel connected. I want them to feel comfortable sharing their work and asking questions. I want them to value my feedback. I quite often lump “them” all together when I should be focused more on the “he” or “she” level. You’ve got to have a relationship with individual students for this to work.
It also made me think about how I interact with other teachers and with admin. I think I’ve been slack in this area in recent years. We’ve had a fair amount of teacher and admin turnover, and I am certain that I haven’t cultivated the relationships with our new arrivals that would make my workplace more enjoyable and productive.
It requires an intentional effort to develop a rapport. If we’re going to collaborate and make cross-disciplinary connections, we have to feel comfortable talking to each other.