We all know the feeling. We’re going towards a place where there is loud music and, as we approach it, our body start to feel the vibrations of the bass. The deep “Thumps” intensify as we get closer. Our whole being resonate with the music before we have entered the room where it originates. It is like we are being prepared for the mood of the music, its intentions, its depth.

I want to talk about another kind of resonance today. The one of the individual, specifically.

It is sometimes hard, in this society who bombards you with a million contradictory messages, to decipher what is important from what is not. But, fortunately, we all have developed compasses, general guidelines to navigate our virtual realities.  What am I talking about? About common sense. And we each have a different idea of what common sense is, strangely (Isn’t “common sense” supoosed to be common?)

I relate this subject directly to teaching.

In the 1940’s teaching was a much different beast than today. In those days, the teacher propose and the students followed.

Not so true in 2019.

The teacher has to first understand who he’s talking to. What is common sense in teaching is vastly different now than it was then. Today, teachers have to be aware of their students if they want to succeed. They have to know their pupils, if I may say, before they can determine how they’re going to present their material. Now, although there are some important questions that can be ask to determine that, the best way I know is to observe, listen.

And resonate.

Resonate? you say with one eyebrow higher than the other.

Yes, resonate. That’ll help to get to what is the “common sense” of that person.

Each one of us has a certain demeanor, a certain way of carrying themselves. Each person eyes moves a certain way. They each have some “go to” facial expressions who tell a lot about the personality they have. Then, there is the sound of their voice. I am not talking about the pitch or the tone here, I am talking about the intention, the conviction, the solidity, the mood. I listen to people with that in mind, it’s a reflex now. Because that tells me a lot. Some people do not talk a lot. Their tone can be calm and composed, thoughtful, or commanding, loud, definitive. On the other side of the spectrum, some people give a Niagara of words, communicating with them is like being a salmon trying to go up a waterfall.

When I meet a student, I am always very aware of the way I resonate with the person because it will determine a lot of our interactions. It also helps me in my teaching as it guides me to know where the ground is safe and where it’s not. My job is based on communication. And English is not my first language. Thus I have to use other tools to make sure I can reach people and do a good job. So, I resonate. Yes, like a drum, or the soundboard of a piano.