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The Formative Feedback Project is a collaborative curation of best practices in educational strategies, ideas, resources. Specializing in student ownership, engagement, feedback loops and collaborative, effective feedback.

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More ears, less mouth

Taylor Meredith

My grandparents have always been one of my go-to sources of advice and wisdom. They have very different (and frequently conflicting) perspectives but I can always count on them to find the root of the problem or supply me with the perfect one-liner. Since I can remember, when finding myself in a jam, as the new kid on the block or looking for some answers, my grandpa has ultimately said: more ears, less mouth. It has proven successful in every instance where I have intentionally applied this adage and even in times where I haven't. The solution (or the problem) is often revealed when you are more ears and listen.

This advice has also been essential in my interactions and relationships with students. So often I find myself jumping at the chance to solve a problem, re-direct or ask a question but there is power in the pause. Listening (even if it is to silence) can be the tipping point for self-discovery, ownership and problem-solving. 

As I continue to explore my new job on a redefined journey of self-reflection I thought this would be a good opportunity to remind myself to be more ears and less mouth. Listen to others and listen to myself. 

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