Running head: REFLECTION: ACTIVE LISTENING SKILLS Reflection: Active Listening Skills Frank J. Ball Sr. EDL 531 June 30, 2014 Professor Jonathon Wennstrom 1 REFLECTION: ACTIVE LISTENING SKILLS 2 Abstract 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 3 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- REFLECTION: ACTIVE LISTENING SKILLS 4 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.