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The article, “Build Better Listeners” was found in the classroom management section of the National Education Association (NEA) website. The NEA opens the article by explaining that learning is one of the most important keys to student success, as it allows for learning, as well as social development and respect. Regarding learning, listening is often an effective pair to alternative methods, such as reading. When done correctly, listening leads to an open dialogue of communication where students can ask questions as they come to mind. Listening also shows attentiveness to one’s peers; a student who listens and responds well to his/her classmates is more likely to form meaningful friendships. Good listening skills also show the person one is speaking with that they are being heard and respected.
The article then explains the differences between poor and strong listeners. Poor listeners tend to focus more on what they will say next, rather than what the speaker is saying at the time. Poor listeners also tend to become distracted in their own thoughts or in activities around them. In contrast, good listeners focus on the people talking and allow them to finish their thoughts. They also give cues to the speaker, such as nodding, using facial expressions, or using encouraging phrases and questions. Good listeners repeat back what they are told and ask for clarification if necessary.
As a future teacher, I feel this article provides many resources which could be used inside the classroom. I would even consider creating a poster in my classroom with some of the basic signs of a good listener: looking, smiling, paying attention, and showing interest. I also feel these skills could be applied when conferring with both parents and students, to make them feel our line of communication is open and genuine.
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