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Active Listening Protocol

Active Listening Protocol

Adapted from Dr. Marie Alcock
  1. Ask question of your co-teacher. 
  2. Maintain eye contact while they speak but do not say anything. 
  3. The most important part here is not to pass judgement, even by reassuring or reaffirming them. Stay away from “uh huh” or “that must have been difficult” or “oh, I have always wondered about that!”. Try your best not to speak or make any sound at all while your partner speaks. 
  4. If there is time, allow them to speak about the topic for two full minutes. 
  5. When they finish, wait ten seconds and then rephrase what they said using the sentence starter, “What I heard you say is…”
  6. Wait for confirmation or explanation.
  7. Ask one follow up question. 
  8. Switch.

Download a copy of the protocol! 


 
In the comic above, both teachers are facing each other as they have the conversation. By asking the question and listening during the response (instead of just waiting to talk), the teacher to the left learned the following things about her co-teacher. 
  • He values attendance and presence.
  • He values skills that he believes connect to “real life."
  • “Work time” in class is integral to his philosophy. 
 
When they switch, the other teacher will learn as much about his co-teacher as she learned about him. Knowing one another’s philosophical basis will help in future discussions about co-planning and co-teaching.