Thursday, September 27, 2007

Art of the Appreciative Question

Most evenings I ask the kids to recount the best thing that happened at school that day. They've come to expect it, so the question and answers have grown a little stale.

Yesterday, in an effort to re-energize the question, I asked my eight-year-old, "What's your teacher's favorite thing to do at school?" He seemed truly puzzled by the question for a moment or two. Then he came to life with an answer, "She loves math games!" He went on to describe the games with much relish and excitement, and we reenacted the "brain vs. calculator" game with Dad and his older brother to really get a feeling for it.

It was a nice family moment.

That appreciative question generated a lot of learning! I learned about something going on in the classroom. I also learned that an appreciative question doesn't necessarily need to be about the person you are talking to (my son). It can be something that will elicit thoughts about someone else's joy (his teacher).

Does the teacher really love math games? I'm not sure, but she's certainly inspired enthusiasm in my son! (Thank you, Miss C.)

(edited 11/28/2007 to correct an error)

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