The Lower School students have been learning about two very timely, important emotional intelligence characteristics: listening skills and cooperation.
Expanding one’s listening skills is something that most everyone can benefit from. There is so much competition for children’s attention. By discussing ways to better focus on what is important and to filter out what is not of importance, these are skills that students can begin practicing at an early age. By striving to become an active listener, students can become more engaged in listening and learn how to avoid interruption, sit still, and provide good eye contact. To ensure that a message is received, engaging in “echo listening” - repeating instructions given, for example - can go a long way towards effective, timely communications. Student feedback on what it means to be a good listener includes being sincere, calm, friendly, and understanding.
Working together, doing what is right, and helping those in need are some key attributes of cooperation. The students have learned from some of the lives and writings of historical greats such as Martin Luther King, Jr., William Shakespeare, Aesop, Nelson Mandela, and Chief Seattle by discussing how they achieved their lifetime success through the spirit of cooperation and working with and alongside others in a shared, common goal. As has been said, “Cooperation is the thing we must all learn to do,” “It makes life ‘oh so nice,’” and “Who knows what we can do if we all join together.”
Together, listening to each other and acting in the spirit of cooperation are skills that are timeless and relevant today more than ever. Let us all cooperate and work together to become better listeners in 2021! What a great New Year’s Resolution for us all.