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  • Writer's pictureDevoted Educator


Let us "be swift to hear, slow to speak." Read: James 1:19-20 As educators, we find ourselves in front of audiences daily. Our audiences consist of students, colleagues, parents, and other community members. How we communicate with our audiences is, in large part, up to us. How do you use your platform? Are you a giver of knowledge? Are you a facilitator of knowledge seekers? Are you a facilitator and connector of knowledge sharers? Are you a confidante, a mentor, a counselor? ...or all of the above? In the day-to-day hustle, we must make time to listen - REALLY listen - and hear what our audience has to say. How else can we take the pulse of their needs? This is a skill that comes more easily to some than others. I often find myself among the latter, but am working to become a better listener in order to better meet the needs of my audiences. Sometimes, what I think they need isn't, in fact, what they need most at all. Sometimes, what I think is happening isn't what it is happening at all. A recent example of this in my life was earlier this year when one of my students was roaming the hall outside my classroom. The school rule in the morning is that students must wait in a designated location before being released to class when the bell rings. This student was out of area. My first impulse was to direct him to that locale, but instead, I asked him a question. Essentially, that question was, "Why are you up here this morning instead of...?" He responded in an unexpected way, explaining that he had homework to do, but many of his friends sat with him in the morning, and he had trouble getting work done when sitting with his friends. Our new solution to his dilemma is that, when he has work to catch up on, he sits in my classroom in the mornings for a quiet place to focus and be productive. I sometimes think, "What if I had not asked him the why behind the choice he was making?" Depending on both of our moods and possible reactions, I'm sure there were a variety of ways that moment could have unfolded, but I am thankful that it turned out the way that it did. If we take time to listen to what our audience - large or small - has to say, God might show us exactly what we need to know to make someone's day a little brighter and help someone - and ourselves - along the journey of life, or at least in a day at school! PRAYER: Dear Lord, please guide our hearts and minds as we make efforts to become more sensitive listeners as we teach. Thank you for reminding us to hear others as you also hear us. We serve you and ask for these blessings in Christ's name. Amen. --Devoted Educator

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