So school is starting, some are already back at it. Looks like it will be in person for most, if not all. I think that is good but I know there are a few risks. Teachers, parents and students will all have to deal with another new normal (I am tired of that phrase aren’t you?)
Everyone is hoping it will be as much like the old normal as possible. We have had enough disruption even if you don’t have kids or don’t have kids at home anymore you felt it.
I am sending one away to school later this month. She will go to another city and live there for 10 months. This is her third year so it is more familiar than the first time. But still, she is living in another city while she goes to school, that adds another layer to the season for us.
Back to school is a unique time on the family calendar and a unique time for everyone else too. It seems people who haven’t attended school in years still want to reminisce about what it was like when they went to school or how someone in their family is starting a new grade or school.
Last week I heard from an older lady what it was like to go to grade school in 1960’s here in Phoenix! That is blast from the past. Of course I am concerned because I went to school in the '80s in Phoenix and I think I used the same desk she did!
You have probably had some memories or thoughts about your own school experiences and if you have kids in the house you have definitely had some conversations.
Back to school is a time where people are more open to talking than usual.
Since that is the case, I am proposing you start eavesdropping! No I don’t mean to be a sketchy stalker sneaking around and trying to hear what you aren’t supposed to hear.
But, if you notice someone is willing to talk a little more, encourage them. Ask a couple of questions and listen to their answers.
One of the ways you can bless your neighbors, co-workers or even classmates is to listen to them. You will be shocked how much you learn about them!
I want to be known for how well I love people. I want to love my neighbor as myself. If something as simple as listening can help make that happen, sign me up.
Here are a couple of simple questions to create a conversation where you can listen well.
1) Who’s going back to school in your family? You can follow that up with what school do they attend, what grade are they starting, are they looking forward to it, is everyone ready?
2) What is your best memory from school? People love to talk about themselves. They also like to share great memories, they may be funny or cool. So ask them. Be ready to share yours as well. Of course we want to listen but sharing your story is important too.
<== Good job eye-patch!
3) Is everyone feeling good about going back? This is a low-key way to let people share any concerns…maybe about the virus, maybe about their child’s learning, maybe it is a new school and the kids don’t have friends yet. These things matter to parents, give them a chance to unburden.
4) Have you met their teachers? Again, they may be excited or concerned either way listen to them.
*Bonus Question if talking to a teacher: Do you have everything you need? This could give you an incredible opportunity to help them out and set them up to be successful. Get them class room supplies or get the teacher a gift card. Listening to the answer the teacher gives may open the door to an opportunity to serve them.
Start eavesdropping. You don’t have to have any kids in school to start a conversation when it seems like everyone is more willing to talk. Bless someone by listening to them. If you can, serve them. It will make the start of the school year better for everyone.
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