November 2, 2015
Welcome to School-Wide Morning Meeting! I hope everyone had a happy and safe Halloween! It was great seeing so many of our families in their wonderful costumes at our Fall Ball. Huge thanks to all of the parents who helped to organize the Fall Ball this year, especially James Bromberg our Parent Coordinator and Gia’s dad George for putting the whole event together and Rachael’s dad Eric for running the haunted house.
November’s Habit of Mind is Listening with Understanding and Empathy. When we listen with understanding and empathy we devote energy to understanding each other’s thoughts and feelings. When we are listening well we can paraphrase another’s ideas accurately, build upon them, clarify them, give examples of them, and even challenge those ideas. Listening with understanding and empathy doesn’t mean we have to agree with others’ ideas, but that we can see things through their perspective. Some psychologists believe that the ability to listen to another person, to empathize with, and to understand their point of view is one of the highest forms of intelligent behavior.
The picture we associate with this Habit of Mind is of an ear with a burst of energy around it. This reminds us that listening is an active process. When we are listening with understanding and empathy we are not just thinking about what we are going to say next – we are really thinking about what we are hearing.
“It is understanding that gives us an ability to have peace. When we understand the other fellow’s viewpoint, and he understands ours, then we can sit down and work out the differences.”
– Harry S Truman
“Listening is where love begins: listening to OURSELVES and then to our NEIGHBORS.”
– Fred Rogers
“I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully.”
– Ernest Hemingway
“If you can learn a simple trick, you’ll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks.
You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view…until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”
– Harper Lee, from to Kill a Mockingbird
The teachers and I will be keeping our eyes open for really good examples of listening with understanding and empathy over the next two weeks. I’ll be giving a shout out at our next School-Wide Morning Meeting to a few students who are working hard at this Habit of Mind.
Have a great day everyone!