Reflection: Active Listening Skills

Reflection: Active Listening Skills
Frank J. Ball Sr.
EDL 531
June 30, 2014
Professor Jonathon Wennstrom
This paper reflects upon an active interview with two teachers, (Land Yang and Michelle
Goldman), who work directly under my tutelage in the Engineering for Kids program in
which I serve as the program director. I picked these two teachers due to the fact that I
wanted to get both a male and female objective opinion and because they are also
students in differing program disciplines. Michelle Goldman is an education major,
specializing in middle grade science and math; while Land Yang is engineering major,
specializing in mechanical engineering. Both attend the University of North Georgia,
Oakwood Campus.
Reflection: Active Listening Skills
What are your expectations of characteristics and types of support offered by an effective
coach or mentor?
Both Land and Michelle agreed that they felt it is very important for the mentor and the
mentee to have a clear and precise set of expectations from each other and know what is
expected throughout the relationship. Good communication skills in face-to-face discussions,
emails, telephone conversations and/or text messaging. They both felt that all feedback (good or
bad) should be for the purpose to help improve their skills. That the mentor will need to
remember what works for one may not work for the other and that it is important to be flexible
when working with differing personalities.
Michelle however, being an education major was much more interested in being
mentored in class management skills, effective teaching strategies, and student/teacher
communication skills; while Land on the other hand being engineering major was much more
interested in being mentored on our engineering curriculums and how to effectively teach
engineering principles.
Both of these instructors have high energy levels and are very good with our student
population, are good role models, being young energetic people involved in STEM. They are
very popular instructors yet do need guidance in class and time management. Given the right
amount of time and guidance both could become great instructors in STEM education.
Using the question listed above and also questions developed during our week three team
project, open ended questions allowed time for Land and Michelle to elaborate on their answers.
The active listening skills used were a quiet room to avoid distractions, good eye contact, good
body language, and listening for fact and feeling. Each of these techniques are great in face-to-
face discussions. Listening for fact and feeling is a combination of watching body language and
tone in voice to see the emotion that they carry with their statements.
Active listening skills are very important for a coach and or mentor to use when working
with their mentee. These skills will help grow the relationship professionally due to the fact that
it will allow a dialogue that moves in a forward action. Supporting your mentee with appropriate
feedback will help them grow professionally and individually, but active listening skills will
allow that feedback to flow easily.
Coaches and or mentors are put into place so that they can help a mentee grow
professionally and take center stage as their own individual ready and prepared to take on the
challenges of the world. Through the use of active listening skills and discussions a good coach
and or mentor will help make that happen. Through this discussion with the different teachers is
has shown that they expect similar things from a coach or mentor as they are working together.