Monday, October 19, 2009

More Adventures With A Grand Child

Today's adventure with my 5 year old grand daughter brought me back a few years to my teaching days. Instead of the usual routine of playing hospital after school, she decided we were going to dress her dolls in various outfits. Believe it or not, I know the names of the 5 or 6 dolls she keeps at our house but then there's another dozen or so in her room and the only one I know is Benny so we started off by her telling me the name of each doll. Then she handed me an outfit and told me to put it on Katie. The problem was that I almost immediately forgot the names of most of the dolls. That prompted Brooke to remark, "Grandpa, you need to work on your listening skills. I just told you their names. Now let's try it again." I felt like I was in a time warp back to the classroom except I was the student. Listening Skills. One of the most important skills there is yet there are times when it seems like no one is listening. Politicians don't listen to their constituents. Parents don't listen to their children. Spouses don't listen to each other. Teachers don't listen to students. And so on. The topic is even on report cards. I could hear myself telling students/parents that they either did have or did not have listening skills. But there is of course a difference between not listening and having so much information thrown at you that you need more time to assimilate it all. I attempted to explain to Brooke that in the case of learning names, it was the latter but she wasn't buying it. After a couple of times I finally learned the names. There's a lesson here. One should always try to tell the difference between not listening and assimilating large amounts of information. It makes learning easier and less frustrating.

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