Friday, 1 January 2016

Reflecting on a Year of listening

I started 2015 with the aim to become a better listener... to learn more about what listening is... and

"Not just your everyday listening, but real listening. Not just listening to answer, but listening to understand Not just listening to the words, but to the silence, the pauses Not just listening with my ears, but with the whole of me... Not just hearing but listening - an active verb - that I want to actively explore this year."

and now is the time to reflect... have I done what I have set out to do?

Well yes... but I am still not finished with this journey. I still need to be continuously aware of how I am as a listener... and also to be aware how others are as listeners. Communication is always a two way thing of where the one expressing ideas (verbally, artistically, physically etc) is connected with the one listening (to the words, meanings, interpreting the art, the actions etc).

I have seen my group become much better at listening to each other... taking the words of their peers with the same  seriousness as they take those of adults... as I often found that the children tuned out of dialogues when their peers talked... and often felt like a series of monologues... but these days there are amazing dialogues... where I can take a back seat and just listen to the ideas, problem solving and supportive nature of the children...

This was my aim... to empower the children through listening... and I really feel like we are on the right path.

Games, activities, philosophy sessions, excursions, free play... all have been woven together to create a fabric to support listening - the kind that could act like a trampoline to bounce ideas on, the kind that was snuggly to comfort each other with, the kind that was for den building to create fantasic play with... so many listening fabrics have been woven.

I am looking forward to continuing this journey of listening... to weave more fabrics... ones that I don't even know I need yet...

But I am also wanting to learn more about play... and this listening has enriched the play... and I see a connection.

I have mentioned it a few times during the year that I believe through play we can achieve peace... not over night... its a process like anything else... but I will save those reflections on my 2016 learning journey challenge for another post...

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