Posted by: L. E. Barnes | August 24, 2009

Noticing Others

Today I took a moment to watch a short video in which Fr. Michael Manning, a fairly well-known priest involved in the Catholic charismatic renewal, reflected on the gospel reading for today (John 1:45-51). Fr. Manning remarked on how Nathanael was deeply moved by Jesus simply noticing him. He went on to urge us to emulate that example. How much more effective would we be in our relations with others, especially in our evangelistic efforts, if we concentrated on noticing others, showing sincere interest and concern?

Reflecting on this, I wonder how I might apply this to my relationships with my students. My master’s thesis dealt with various theories and practices aimed at making teaching English more “holistic,” or teaching it in ways that help students not just with writing skills but with their life situations. Yes, I recognize that there was always the risk of drifting off into heady idealism and sentimentality. Yet I’d like to teach in ways that draw more out of my students and let them know that I am concerned about them and their success in school. I’m sure that on too many occasions my feedback on students’ work was limited to fault finding. How can I correct that?

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