11/24/2013

Be There & Listen! #30GoalsEdu: Goal #24

Be There & Listen!
#30GoalsEdu: Goal #24

I have always been here and...there, too!  Too much, sometimes, but no regrets at all. Being a teacher has always been such a passion for me that at some point that after my first child was born and although I became a proud devoted mom, I desperately wanted to go back to school!. I missed my children who I knew they needed to be listened to, somebody to pay attention to what they do, say or think. 
Most of them are adult parents now, and if they greet me and hug me every time they see me, it means I had been there for them and tried to listen to them as much as I could as a teacher, trying to not interfere in somebody else´s life, or intending to take somebody else´s role, if you know what I mean.
During my experience as an ESL teacher between 2005 and 2008, my listening skills developed even more: most of those students were Spanish speakers and had more concerns and difficult private lives than you can think of, so I was the only one who they would talk to. Regardless they were teenagers and we are all aware teenagers do not like to share their lives so much, they would  come to me for anything they needed: not being fluent enough in English was a barrier and I understood that. 
Even though, I did not turn into their very close friend, which would have been a big mistake, I was very friendly and they considered me more than a teacher, even parents looked for my advice and shared their concerns with me. To tell you the truth, those were the most fantastic years of my life, I felt I have found my perfect position!. It really was!

Now, that I have been teaching at the same school for more than twenty-five years, as I posted before, I usually see those young parents around, and at the same time I realize many of our students are really alone. Yes, alone... and they feel lonely sometimes! Nowadays, the school, as an institution has become more than a building where children come to learn, meet friends, get homework, play sports, do classwork, take tests and graduate. It is a sort of second home to many of those who are on their own. Sometimes I wonder how big our challenge is as teachers, educators and how much we have to listen to and say, to do or the right to say and do...


Moreover, some reflection on the same topic: Am I teaching my students to be good listeners?. Are they getting the right message?. I have noticed how children sometimes do not get the right message: this is an exercise that needs to be taught since they are very young.