Teaching Conversations: From Inspection to Reflection

Speak in such a way as others love to listen to you. Listen in such a way as others love to speak to you

This is how an article by Shelly Arneson kicks of in a discussion around improving out reflective conversations with colleagues. The shift from arriving at the conversation as an inspector to creating a dialogue with authentic reflection comes down to Arneson’s mantra: Talk with teachers, not to them. There are two main barriers to this, time and the unknown. Arneson suggests two solutions:

  • Make better use of time – narrow the topic
  • Overcome the fear of the unknown – admit our uncertainties

Using these strategies, outlines with examples, one is able to see how conversations can be made more purposeful. To get this right, we have to improve our Communication Skills, and Arneson has the following suggestions:

  • Listen at least as much as you speak
  • Be aware of body language
  • Craft feedback that invites dialogue instead of shutting it down
  • Ask open-ended questions that will allow for future learning, not just questions that are lesson specific
  • Understand that relationships matter

The overall purpose of Arneson’s article is to promote conversations that Empower Teachers to Improve.

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