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  • Good job Claudia. Your article shows that you have been paying close attention to this student. It also shows that you have I identified the areas where he needs help which give direction on where to help him. Great choice of words when you said ” He needs to be encouraged to try other areas”. You did not say ” made to try or forced”. It shows…Read More

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    Branden commented on the post, This is Me

    Thank you so much for you kind words on my post. I appreciate. I will definitely look up the article that you told me about. It sounds very interesting.

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        Branden wrote a new post

        This is Me

        My name is Branden Girtman. I am from Port Chester, New York. I Love to go to church and interact with people from all walks of life. I am a music teacher and one thing I love to do...

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        • Dear Brandon:

          I am energized by your Habits of Mind bio, “This Is Me,” because you immediately invite readers to get to know you by describing the importance that listening has had on your life. Your explanation demonstrates the great care that you put into getting to know other people on a deep level. It is exciting that you bring this mindset into your music classroom.

          One sentence you wrote that stands out for me is: “Listening to people helps me to understand who they are, how they are, and why they are who they are.” I think this is insightful because it sounds like you seek to understand the whole person when conversing. I remember when I was in grad school, a professor shared that listening is hearing with attention. During conversations, people are challenged by both external (phones and devices) and internal (generating a response to the speaker’s unfinished thought before they are even done) distractions. These factors compete for our attention. To support focused conversations, I agree with you about your technique of sharing back what you heard. This is powerful because it supports not just hearing but also listening. When we rephrase back what we have heard, we can confirm and clarify if we comprehend the intended meaning. In my opinion, this is what actually leads to a sustainable conversation and a deeper connection with the person you are getting to know. I appreciate your thoughts on the impact that listening has on getting to know people.
          Another sentence that I thought deeply about was: “If we change how we look at things, we will change the outcomes.” This stood out to me because it affirms that if we aren’t getting the results that we want for any of our goals, we need to assess the factors and consider other perspectives. Your sentence also reminded me of computational thinking, specifically “debugging.” If an obstacle is preventing us from moving towards our objective, it may be necessary to decompose the situation and identify what factors may need more attention and revision.

          Have you seen this blog post, Help Students Build Their Active Listening Skills by Sara K. Ahmed? I thought you might be interested in this because Sara shares an activity that educators can offer learners in their classroom. She states that teachers mentor listeners. Additionally, I connected this protocol with one of the final lines in your bio: “As we continue to work and become familiar with it, we will see that the task will become more natural to us and we will discover that we have the capability of doing and finishing the work. ” This makes me think that the more all people engage in practices to become skilled listeners, the more authentic and attentive they will be with our ears, eyes, and hearts. It is necessary to do the work to get there.

          Thanks for your writing and sharing your passion for listening and getting to know others! 


          • Thank you so much for you kind words on my post. I appreciate. I will definitely look up the article that you told me about. It sounds very interesting.

            • Dear Branden,
              I find your post, “This Is Me”, very relatable because I too feel as if sometimes people aren’t listening but also because too genuinely enjoy listening to others. I actually find it surprising that the situation you describe seems as if it is from my perspective.
              Specifically, one sentence that you wrote that stands out to me is: “Listening to people helps me to understand who they are, how they are, and why they are who they are.” I find this very touching because not a lot of people even care about the state of their friends, which I can find upsetting sometimes.
              Thanks for you input in this topic/subject. I would like to learn more about your opinion on mental health and how it potentially affects someone who is denied that openness to express themselves. I would also like for you to continue to write more on this specific matter. Thank You.


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