Saturday, March 18, 2017

Conversations about Flamingos

I found many opportunities to talk with my students on Friday. Simple conversations. I listened to them, I took the time to hear their stories, to look them in the eye and to show them they are known. This is a luxury. What I mean to say is time is precious and there are many moments when I move on and I don't take that kind of time...on this day I did.


As I watched and observed my seventh and eighth grade students working on their projects, I noticed that I had two choices. I could nag and remind and complain about their choices or I could watch and encourage and talk to them. Gratefully, I chose the latter yesterday and I was treated with the most wonderful conversations and moments with my students.


One of my students who doesn't normally engage teachers in conversation started talking to me about the tv show Planet Earth. I was intrigued. He started telling me about the part with the flamingos getting frozen into the same lake, every single night. Night after night, they fell asleep in the lake and when they woke up, they were frozen into the lake! I couldn’t believe this so he said, "Let me find the video."





It's moments like these that are valuable and precious. I'm grateful that I took a beat and listened to his story. The video made me laugh and we shared a moment.

Life moves so quickly, I confess that there are many times in school when I'm not able to give a student my full attention. Holding on to these moments and noticing how brilliant, quirky, funny people my middle schoolers are...that is what makes me happy.

Thank you to the Two Writing Teachers for this amazing platform to write and share writing! What a wonderful community you've created! I'm honored to be part of it. Join us at Two Writing Teachers.

14 comments:

  1. Making these connections with our students is one of the most rewarding aspects of teaching. I love this. (I couldn't see the video though-probably need to update my Firefox!)

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    1. Thank you, Paula. I think I fixed the video.

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  2. I found myself nagging the other day (project deadline looming! What have you been doing?) .. your post reminded me to slow down and talk more. Thanks.
    Kevin

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  3. I'm in a PreK-8 building now. I have to say, I was so surprised at how much I enjoy spending time with 7-8. They are so fun, and I love hearing their stories. Thanks for the reminder to spend more time listening to their stories.

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  4. Those connecting moments are so precious, you are right.

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  5. Fabulous video - beautiful words - authentic connections. This is a keeper. I love the line, "I'm grateful that I took a beat and listened to his story." Hidden gems, as Katherine Bomer would say

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  6. Things you find out when you have time to listen. I am glad you had time on Friday.

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  7. It's all about connecting as beings....I guess that is why we are writing and reading and writing and reading this month?

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  8. This is something I'm working on as well. So many of my students just want to chat. It's hard for me to stay and really listen - I'm always wanting to get to the next thing because of that time crunch. But I know it's SO important to let them talk. My OLW is mindfulness, so this is one way I'm trying to use my word. That flamingo story is fascinating!

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  9. Making these connections and building these relationships is so good for kids---and for us! I'm so glad you made this choice--it can be hard to do, but so worth it!

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  10. You shared a special moment with this student. How lovely for the both of you.

    https://wordsmithing2017.wordpress.com

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  11. I love those days/times!! Why can they happen some days and not others? Practice? Intention? Schedule?? Whatever, we need to discover what it is and capture it! Thanks for sharing this. I could feel your delight!
    http://mainelywrite.blogspot.com/2017/03/a-jealousy-post.html

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  12. Taking time to build relationships is so important, but easy to forget in the busyness of our days. Thank you for this reminder to slow down!

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  13. How great that you chose to take time for your students on this day. Those connections are priceless.

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