Author: Aubrey Yeh
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How often do we experience silence in this world?
[As teachers, not much!]
I have recently been reading Fierce Conversations by Susan Scott, and Chapter 7 is all about silence. [Wait, a chapter on silence in a book about conversations? You will have to read it to find out more – definitely worth your time!]
Reading this chapter got me thinking…
…silence is when we are alone with our thoughts. When we can process through things.
…silence is when we can be mindful of who we are, how we are feeling, and where we are.
…silence is essential for developing new ideas and solving problems.
I usually like to be busy at work, but over break, I had the chance for large blocks of time of silence. It wasn’t really silence, since I could hear the murmur of everything else going on in the office, but it was large uninterrupted blocks of time for me to think. And I was so productive! It was a different kind of productivity – not my usual checks on the to-do list or responding to emails – but more of a time to vision and let puzzle pieces fall into place.
Although my work life has picked up since then, I continue to build in bits of time to do this silent, thinking work. When I walk to church. When I run or swim in the mornings. When I close my email and sit in my office for five minutes without a task. I often solve problems during these times, coming up with solutions that I couldn’t quite piece together before, because I just have a moment to stop and think.
This has led me to an interesting thought – do we give our kids the time for this type of quiet, reflective work? I can only imagine trying this in the classroom – how can we build this in (in a way that is not b-o-r-i-n-g)?