Connection Through Story
Have you ever had an experience where you are in a deep conversation and the person you are talking with says something that you were thinking?
I have spent the past 25 years “teaching” students how to understand and use language. In the past few years, I have learned that there is an easier way. Sometimes the communication just happens for no reason at all!
My understanding of communication has been enhanced when working with the youngest children who don’t have many words and use so many non-verbal skills to make requests or comments. Before the communication interaction can happen I must be on the “same page” or have “joint attention” a common point of focus with the child. Not only a visual focus, we must also be connected in our emotional states and our hearts.
When “working” as a teacher or speech language pathologist, a special educator, classroom teacher, paraeducator, etc… we often have a “job to do” or an agenda, a lesson plan or a goal to work on. Too often that goal goes out the window when the student is not necessarily interested and has other things they would rather be doing.
Taking the time to check in with children and figuring out what is going on for them is our job as the adult. We must also check in with ourselves…are we grounded and focused in the present…or worried about the past or future?
We cannot assume that children are ready, willing or able to learn.
So what is Connection????
Connection is not something you do… it is something that happens.
Some Students will communicate because they are told to do so. And on the other hand, even though their intention is to communicate, they can shut down and have a blockage.
Why to they shut down? Perhaps they don’t feel the “connection”
Connection is like a signal on the phone or the radio… it we have a bad “connection” the message is not transmitted or received clearly.
The root of connection is relationship
A synonym for Connect is Attach… Attachment is the relational experience that connects children to their parents or the adult care- giver.
We cannot assume that children connect with their parents… many things can interfere with the earliest connections.
So why does this matter at school? Children with Attachment challenges or challenges connecting to the important people in their lives, are having relationship challenges which impact their capacity for building the necessary relationships to learn.
Guess what! Teachers, and other school professionals and support staff have also had challenges with early attachment… this is a part of the human condition that we are beginning to understand more clearly. Building our self-awareness as teachers and professionals helps us to have more perspective for the students.
Not all communication is verbal or non-verbal some just comes from our heart or intuition… that is true connection! By telling and understanding our stories and the stories of the children we work with we can connect and build the relationships we need for learning.
How do you connect with children?
To explore the concept of connection and communication and learning, join the Group Coaching Experience: Connect with your Students.