Time To Listen

I am an educator. Though I am careful about the details of the stories I share, I share my truth. I share my story. Why? Because I ask the same of my kids. Because sometimes the kids in my world need me to share first. And sometimes, I need them to lead.

Last week, one of my grade ten students and I shared our stories on the effects of grief and loss, and how we have learned to listen to each other. We shared that we honour these stories. We were sharing with a grade 3 to 5 class.

Sometimes we need to share different stories. Sometimes we might even need to share about abuse, addiction and illness. Recently, recently, I’ve felt safe enough to be able to share excerpts from my own narrative. More often than not, my kids are more courageous than I am able to be.

There is magic when we share our stories. Real. Real. Magic. Tomorrow my students and their teachers will be silent, will learn without speaking, and connect without technology.

Tomorrow we honour those with voice. Tomorrow we honour those without voice. Tomorrow we honour our own stories.

Tomorrow we take time to listen. We hope you will too.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Time To Listen

  1. Great post Cori. If you rearrange the letters in the word ‘listen’, you can spell ‘silent’. Being silent is an important part of listening.

  2. Lori Meyer

    the beauty is what you have established as a culture of learning and listening – whether in silence or not – the students know that their voice is important and has value. thank you cori!

    • saasc

      What surprised me was how focused the students were at allowing the silence to resonate. Now, not all of them were like this. Some had their earbuds in, some spoke to me or spoke to others to get our attention. But for the most part, the day was a gentler day.

      Some of my students asked to reflect on the silence instead of continuing with projects; a rose by a more engaging means, I think. Not only did this become explicit time to write or to create, but some of the students began to feel the stillness.

      At lunch, one student sat looking out the window, two more, sharing food, wrote poetry that later found its way to the bulletin board. A student sat at the vintage, graffitied piano and sometimes offered tune. The wind danced through the open window carrying playground joy. The Middle Years kids, though speaking in the hall, kept returning to our space, our silence. I put my feet up on my desk, I snuggled the book I was reading and for a few minutes, I simply closed my eyes and felt our space. I smiled.

      At the end of our day, many kids hung around and shared stories. Silence is powerful. We were exhausted from listening. We are safer, closer through silence.

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