One of the greatest gifts that you can give to another human-being is the gift of listening. How we all long to be heard, so much so, that we talk on the phone, text, email, blog, tweet, participate in chat rooms, sign, write, and type all in an effort to say that we are here and that we matter. With all that talking, texting, signing and blogging going on I would like to remind you that one the greatest
gifts that you can give to another human-being is the gift of listening.

Teachers are lucky enough to work in environments where they are actually face to face with other human-beings for a good part of their work day. I most humbly request that you not let the administrative responsibilities of the job allow you to squander this great opportunity. I ask that you put the book down, step away from the chalkboard and focus on the student in front of you.

It is important to be present when students talk to you. Listen with your whole being. Maintain eye contact, use appropriate body langauge, ask questions and respond to what is being said. You will be surprised how valuable a little time and attention is to the student that you are communicating with.

Whether the student is five years old or eighteen years old, they will appreciate being heard. A little time, everyday, to every student allows you to get to know the student and allows the student to get to know you.

By listening, you confirm that the student is here and you confirm that they matter. Infact, when you take the time to listen, really listen, you can discover the hopes, dreams, and fears of a child and just might discover the key that unlocks their passion for learning.

Have you listened to your students today? You just might be the only person that listens to them all day.