Improving my Teaching Practice

A lesson from baby turtles: interrupting and listening

I apologize for not posting the past few weeks, a lot has happened! I went on vacation, got an apartment and got engaged! Very exciting stuff and I’m feeling overwhelmed with blessings.

We went to Mexico for vacation and got the privilege to see baby turtles making their journey to the ocean. I watched as other beach goers picked them up and placed them in the ocean. I couldn’t stop thinking about how disruptive this was and how disoriented the turtles might feel. They hatched with a drive to crawl to the ocean so what happens when they are taken off their path? Do they get distracted? Can they go back to their original task?

As we continued watching the turtles a lot of them kept getting washed on the shore. I gave into peer pressure and went to go put the turtles in the water. I was hesitant at first but eventually I did pick them up and gently place them in the outgoing waves hoping that they would make it. Some turtles wiggled their fins as I held them and some just let them hang. Both messages felt like a way of telling me, “what’s going on!? Put me down!”

Turtles and babies are NOT the same and please DO NOT think I’m comparing the two. This experience really made me think about when we interrupt a child at work. It’s so important to tell the child what is going to happen before it does and to listen for their cues. Are they telling you “what’s going on!? Put me down!” or have they welcomed the interruption? Could you image being picked up from your computer and carried off somewhere, without knowing where you were going? And as you were being carried away the other person wasn’t listening to you say “put me down! Where are we going?”

Try to remember to wait before interrupting, interrupt respectfully, let the child know what’s going to happen and LISTEN.

2 thoughts on “A lesson from baby turtles: interrupting and listening

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