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First Steps to Talking With Families and Staff - Guidelines for Listening Effectively

by Eileen Eisenberg
May/June 2002
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/first-steps-to-talking-with-families-and-staff-guidelines-for-listening-effectively/5014507/

Each summer I take the opportunity to retreat to an environment that captures for me the essence of listening, where constructive, supportive, and reciprocal teaching and learning take place because individuals take the time to listen and reflect. At the Interlochen Center for the Arts in northern Michigan, talented youth from around the world gather to immerse themselves in their passion for art, music, drama, or dance. They face the challenge of overcoming differences of language and culture while coping with individual egos, family expectations, and national pride. They struggle to meet their social and emotional needs with the intensity of typical 8 to 18 year olds.


They may be a long way from home but they are surrounded by caring adults who listen to their needs not only as they study, practice, and perform but as they walk the wooded paths to class, congregate near the ice cream store, eat in the dining hall, or relax by the lake. The camaraderie enjoyed by faculty and students extends to visitors greeted as welcomed guests on the Interlochen grounds.

Most adults feel comfortable, at ease, even uninhibited talking with very young children. If you are a parent, you will remember how anxious you were ...

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