#education disruption and #innovation through #listening with Mike Yates

Imagine if you would have told your teacher that the way they just taught something was really lame? It probably would NOT be a good outcome. At a school in Austin, Texas, teachers, or as they call themselves, GUIDES would respond differently. They listen, ask questions, and let students co-create the curriculum so that they LOVE going to school. And teachers love going to work because kids love going to school. Sounds like a school of the future and they are doing it now.

Mike Yates is on a mission to transform the K-12 education experience. 

He is a guide / academic coach at Alpha. He is co-founder of Guide, TedX speaker multiple times, and an education consultant. 

In this episode, Mike shares stories that have inspired his mission to transform the future of education where students learn through great experiences.  They are empowered by having their voice heard AND acted upon. Educational experiences are co-created using a continuous conversation between guides and students. And this is revolutionizing learning. Knowing their voice has power has created an environment where students and teachers, alike, learn from each other fostering an environment of respect even amidst differing ideas and opinions.

Enjoy Listening in!

“Because kids know that their voice has power, we’re putting them in situations where they can easily voice their opinions and where we will hear, where we will actually listen to respond.” – Mike Yates

For more ideas, tools, and resources that will help you master the art of listening, subscribe to listening ALCHEMY here.

Listen notes

00:20 – An incident in school that led him to be cynical about the educational system. The constant process of frustration leads him to what is different.

03:26 – What could be in the minds of kids when they have a negative perception about school or a teacher? How does this relate to cultural differences and communication barriers?

08:09 – How does it play out when a kid feels he is a part of a process? How not create a negative memory of the positive experience?

10:09 – Creating experiences that empower kids’ abilities and talents; getting them to participate in whatever capacities they can contribute gives them the opportunity to learn through having a positive experience.

13:05 – Giving kids’ voice power and what it takes. Translating this into asking, listening, participating, and talking.

16:46 – Teaching differently takes a different mindset. Recalibrating our approach.

19:42 – What does respect look like in this environment?

20:38 – Public listening is just as important as public speaking

25:10 – The Accept or Reject exercise. Finding common ground amidst disagreement in ideas and opinions.

28:00 – Learning the difference between respecting your idea and respecting yourself as a person.

31:49 – Mike’s dream for Alpha’s students

Key Takeaways:

“Listening is communication. When I am listening to someone, I am actually telling them something.  I am actually telling them I care about them. I am telling them I care about what they are saying. “ – Mike Yates

“Students may, in those moments, feel like “nobody’s here for me” because sometimes processes and procedures and sometimes cultural differences and communication barriers actually do create that for a child.” – Mike Yates

I think that the role of the school, and hopefully we’re able to do this at Alpha, is to create a shared experience between all parties….where everybody can agree that it was a good experience.”  – Mike Yates

“We’re actually choosing humility, so that we can create an experience where the kid walks away and says, I love coming to school. And we also say I love coming to work because my kids love coming to school.”  – Mike Yates

“The way to create the experience that all parties agree is literally communication. Talking and listening. Talking and listening. And then responding.” – Mike Yates

“You don’t have to agree with everything someone is saying. But you should be able to listen to what they say, accept that they believe that and still have a productive conversation even if you disagree.” – Mike Yates

“I think public listening is just as important as public speaking.” – Mike Yates

“Public listening is what you do to understand where someone is coming from.” – Mike Yates

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