Listening with Loving Kindness
By modeling active listening skills, teacher candidates grow their personal mindset with which they hear and experience their students.
As an assistant professor and practicum coordinator in the Graduate School of Education at Touro College, my focus is on Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and guiding pre-kindergarten through Grade 12 teachers certified in New York State to develop the professional skillsets needed to effectively teach and communicate with diverse student populations. One of my goals is the practice of listening not only with intent but also with "loving kindness." This sensitization to the experiences and viewpoints of others allows teachers candidates not only to acquire teaching methodologies in second language acquisition but also understand that language is the carrier of the intangible heritage of each nation and reflects collective experiences, memories and diverse personal perspectives.
During my certification year at the Center for Modern Psychoanalytic Studies listening with the intent of "loving kindness" was practiced and reflected on, both in dynamic group discussion and with regular journal reflections. This practice resonated deeply within me and changed an intangible resistance to open up, becoming more vulnerable and responsive to the perspectives and needs of others. The practice of listening not only with intent but also with "loving kindness" has deepened my compassion for my teacher candidates, their hopes and aspirations, their struggles and successes.
By modeling active listening skills my teacher candidates grow their personal mindset with which they hear and experience their students. The lens through which my teacher candidates view their students colors the relationships they build and how they engage their students in practical, day-to-day realities. Apart from being masters of their subject, effective teachers have a positive attitude, expect their students to succeed, use praise authentically, and practice in their own classroom teaching as an act of love. For more information, visit https://drcowinj-locationindependentteach.com/2019/09/10/teaching-as-an-act-of-love-by-prof-jasmin-bey-cowin-ed-d/.