Don’t try and solve the problem; I just need someone to listen.
I had a student in my office today that was not having a good day. The student reacted negatively to a reasonable request by an adult in our building. Normally, I would have a conversation about respect and how much we care about our students and why we have additional adults in our building and how important their roles are. This time was different.
As I started to talk, the student interrupted me and said, “Don’t try and solve the problem; I just need someone to listen.” And so I did.
After twenty minutes of listening and occasionally asking questions, the student asked if they could back to class. I told the student that I would like to talk to them on a regular basis about whatever they wanted to talk about, but also mix in a little academics and behavior. The student obliged and went on their way.
Sometimes people know how to solve their problems, they just want someone to listen to them.