We All Need To Learn How To Listen

By February 6, 2020 No Comments

“Everything in writing begins with language. Language begins with listening.” –Jeanette Winterson


have always stated that parents and teachers do share traits in common in terms of power, but when I think about the educators, I must say that we have more power over regulating the mind of the students, in terms of acquiring knowledge, when compared with parents’ powers. This opportunity represents for the teachers a tremendous responsibility, that not only should always be acknowledged, but also should be considered as the only way I think possible of: as the opportunity to developing in our students a flexible way of thinking, in which by listening and learning from others you set the foundations of a leader.

    As the famous saying states, “easier said than done”, thus if we want to continue teaching in this century, we have to start by having our students, either in our side, or getting them back to us, and the best way by doing so, is by listening. Cornelius Minor, the author of the book, “We Got This”, wisely writes:

“The more flexible you are, the more channels you can promote inside yourself to boots your continual understanding”.

In today’s world listening and communications are everything, but both are not serving its purpose inside the classrooms.  Students are used to “talk to their mobiles, games and/or computers”, and less and less to people, making the job of the teachers much more difficult, especially when we want to understand what they really need to communicate. 

   Listening is a skill that can be developed.  There are many ways to do so, but in order to see this skill replicated inside the classrooms; we must first develop the skill on us, as teachers. The following are some useful listening tools I have found helpful for me, as well as for my students:

  • It may sound obvious to you, but learning the names of the students allows you to make them feel that he/she is noticed, as well as involved in the teaching/learning process.
  • Make sure that you are recognized for being somebody that explains concepts in a clear way. Students assume that if they understand you, you can understand them.
  • “We are most powerful when we labor to understand young people”, therefore “when relationships are grounded in a shared vision and genuine collaborations” between parents and teachers, students can evidence the advantages effective listening does have. (C.Minor/We Got This)

To finish, I would like to share the following questions, which in my humble opinion, are perfect to make students comfortable enough to speak the truth about our performance in a holistic way. When we listen how they feel in our classrooms and how much they are enjoying the learning process, our job becomes much more proactive. Thus here are some questions that were adapted from the previously mentioned book.

  • Why would you like to learn this new topic, if so? And Why not?
  • How would you like to learn this new topic? A video, a written project, an oral presentation? And why?
  • How much do you know about this topic and how would you like to share it with others?
  • What skills do I need to teach so students can be better listeners?
  • What skills do I need to develop myself to be a better listener and a model to copy?
  • How am I going to give them opportunities to practice and reinforce listening skills? By means of what?
  • How am I going to evidence that I am making close connections with my students?


“Everything in writing begins with language. Language begins with listening.” –Jeanette Winterson

Alicia Donovan