It is important for you to be a good listener in class. Much of what you will have to learn will be presented verbally by your teachers. Just hearing what your teachers say is not the same as listening to what they say. Listening is a cognitive act that requires you to pay attention and think about and mentally process what you hear.
Here are some things you should do to be a good listener in class.
- Be Cognitively Ready to Listen When You Come to Class. Make sure you complete all assigned work and readings. Review your notes from previous class sessions. Think about what you know about the topic that will be covered in class that day.
- Be Emotionally Ready to Listen When You Come to Class. Your attitude is important. Make a conscious choice to find the topic useful and interesting. Be committed to learning all that you can.
- Listen with a Purpose. Identify what you expect and hope to learn from the class session. Listen for these things as your teacher talks.
- Listen with an Open Mind. Be receptive to what your teacher says. It is good to question what is said as long as you remain open to points of view other than your own.
- Be Attentive. Focus on what your teacher is saying. Try not to daydream and let your mind wander to other things. It helps to sit in the front and center of the class and to maintain eye contact with your teacher.
- Be an Active Listener. You can think faster than your teacher can speak. Use this to your advantage by evaluating what is being said and trying to anticipate what will be said next. Take good written notes about what your teacher says. While you can think faster than your teacher can speak, you cannot write faster than your teacher can speak. Taking notes requires you to make decisions about what to write, and you have to be an active listener to do this.
- Meet the Challenge. Don't give up and stop listening when you find the information being presented difficult to understand. Listen even more carefully at these times and work hard to understand what is being said. Don't be reluctant to ask questions.
- Triumph Over the Environment. The classroom may be too noisy, too hot, too cold, too bright, or too dark. Don't give in to these inconveniences. Stay focused on the big picture - LEARNING.