Jul 21, 2011

Little BIG Thing #5: Listen To Their Music

There is always that kid. The one kid who is immune to my wit and humour. You know the kid, the kid at the back of the room, perpetual frown on their face, eye rolls for every activity, head drops to the desk in boredom five minutes into the class.  This kid walks in to every classroom expecting to be bored. She doesn’t give the teacher, the class, the subject the benefit of the doubt. She is closed to the impending experience.

Mainly, she doesn’t laugh and expects judgment.

There is always one.

I throw every joke, wit, smile, and opportunity at her, trying desperately to see the crack in the wall. She wants to engage. They all want to engage.

But, nothing.

Then I turn on my music. I let the music of my life (The Tragically Hip, Great Big Sea, Dan Mangan, Matt Andersen, Danny Michel and Bruce Guthro) fill the room as students walk in. Music chips away at the wall.

I always ask about the earbuds in the ears.  I want to know.

Then, I ask to listen.

This summer it was dub step. A musical genre, I’ve never heard of, that insists on deep bass and electronic rhythm with few, if any, lyrics. Not necessarily, my thing. But I listened.

No judgement. Just my ears dedicated to the music. The soundtrack of her youth. The soundtrack of her survival.

And then things are different.

Engagement is now an option for her. It is easier for her.

We attach music to who we are, especially as we struggle with the question. To listen to the music is to appreciate the person.

What else would you want to listen to?


Please feel free to share with me, your thoughts on what the Little BIG Things of Education.

Related Posts:

The Little BIG Things of Education

Little BIG Thing #4: What I Learn is As Important

Little BIG Thing #3: Surprise Changes Culture

Little BIG Thing #2: Celebrate Being Wrong

Little BIG Thing #1: The Brightness of Your Eyes




1 Comment

  • I love reading your blog, keep these posts coming

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