Finding Connections

Today’s topic: What is ONE thing you wish you were better at? Why? What could you do about it?

My friend Amanda often invites me to join her and Jordan for lunch on Saturdays. We meet at a little coffeeshop downtown that has wonderful soup, and we catch up. Jordan will sometimes excuse himself to sit closer to the TV when there’s a soccer game on. If there’s room at the table – and sometimes even if there isn’t – Amanda will wave people over to join us and catch up with them, too.

Amanda has a gift for finding the connections among people. When she meets someone new, she asks questions until she finds a mutual acquaintance, a shared workplace, or some common experience. She isn’t being nosy; this is how she gets to know people. Once she has someone “located,” so to speak, she’ll mention them again in conversations weeks or months later. She remembers those details; she remembers people.

I wish I were more like Amanda in that regard. I get to know my students in terms of who they are as individuals in my classroom, but I’m not good at knowing siblings, parents, or personal history. (“Oh, your family just moved here 3 months ago? I didn’t know that!”) If I did more of that, I might have a richer appreciation of who my students are.

What could I do about it? Well, I can’t invite them all to the coffeeshop for lunch on Saturday. I’ll have to see if I can find a few more minutes during class.

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I’m participating in Kelly Hines’ Blogging Challenge. This is Day Six.

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