Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The Silence Is So So Loud

As a teacher we have all experienced it. Silence.

That moment you ask a question to a room and nothing happens.

Over the years that silence has grown into more than just a "wait time" moment. It means something. The silence is so so telling.

Sure there are many reasons that silence could happen.  It may be nothing.  What I've found more often than not is that silence is a signal.

That silence is evidence of a lack of relationship. A lack of trust. A lack of willingness to take risks. That silence can be deafening.

As a coach without a classroom now I see (and hear) this silence in classrooms and workshops across the globe.  Teachers talking to fill the air and to share their views while students sit passively by in rows in their metal desks with the plastic seats.  Don't our students today deserve more?

The silence we hear speaks loudly. It's truly deafening and is a part of the core as to why students across the globe are disenfranchised with the current (and outdated) concept of school.

So let's do something different.  Let's ignore the pacing guide for a little bit.  Get to genuinely know your students.  Share a little bit about you.  It's time to invest in kids so they will in turn invest in others. Put the person first and genuinely care about them. Their needs, interests, values must be authentically heard.

The content, curriculum and pacing guide will be there, it always will, but the relationships make the school a place where kids want to be.

Only when there is a meaningful relationship built will we ever get past the silence.