Day 22: Demystifying Meaning

This March I’m “slicing” a piece of my teaching day every day.11454297503_e27946e4ff_h

We sat in the room and heard the same words at the same time.

I walked away confused and sad.  I came home and turned it over in my head. By morning I still didn’t know what to make of it. Conversations started first thing in the morning. Now I’m coming to understand, everyone heard the words differently.

I’m still trying to figure it out, but I learned something.

We don’t hear the same. No matter how clear our choice of words, we hear from our perspective. And our ability to listen is compromised when emotions are high. When we are vulnerable the meaning can get tangled in our own perspective.

Fortunately, because we want to work it out, what was intended had a chance of being heard.

I wonder. How often does this type of missed communication occur and we don’t bother to demystify the meaning? How often do we assume and go on with hurt feelings?  How does this affect young children and their social-emotional behavior and the ability to learn, to be successful, to take risks?

Our words move hearts and minds in ways we can not imagine, and in ways we do not intend.

Listening in the moment is hard; we need to take the time to check in.  Or how will we know what was heard was what we intended?

Thank you, Two Writing Teachers for the March Slice of Life Challenge. Read more slices here.