Sunday, November 14, 2004

Listening more than Speaking

Today, I flew home to Des Moines. I had a short flight from Grand Forks to Minneapolis. The flight left at 6:30 am so I slept the whole way. That was nice since it was the crack of dawn.

Then, I had a connection flight from Minneapolis to Des Moines. It was one of the small propeller planes that are a bit scary. I sat next to this woman who was returning from a trip to Hawaii. She started a conversation with a young man who was teaching at Iowa State. They started to discuss education type related topics. He taught statistics. The man was a very good listener to this woman who decided it would be a good time to vent her frustrations about elementary teachers and their lack of knowledge in math. She went on and on about how students do not know math when they come out of elementary school and it is because teachers lack a conceptual understanding of what they are teaching.

I had a thought as I couldn't help but listen figuring the small proximity in the prop plane. First, I thought about how you never know who you are sitting by. I mean, this woman was going on and on about the knowledge that elementary teachers are lacking as she sits next to one for one hour. It was a good reminder for me to think before I speak. You never know who is sitting next to you or who someone knows that you are talking about. I remember working out at an athletic club when two women started talking very loudly about a local principal. They had nothing nice to say about this principal. Well, what these women didn't know was that the principals' sister was my friend and was working out right next to them. I felt uncomfortable because it obviously upset my friend, but it was a good reminder about talking about others.

1 comment:

Eyes said...

I think these are prime teaching experiences. That when you should pipe up and say, "I thought you'd like to know, I'm a teacher. Would you like to talk about it more. I couldn't help but listen to your conversation!"

You'll leave a profound effect on these people.

How are you? Are you doing okay? Sorry you've been going through so much lately.