how to listen to your kids: wait time
I am so grateful to be married to my amazing husband; he’s an incredible father and a patient and loving friend, and he totally rocks as an educator.
Having taught both elementary and high school, coached boys soccer for a long while, and currently being an elementary school administrator, he has a ton of experience under his belt and really knows how to work well with people of all ages.
Often, I’ve thought about how cool it is to be best friends with someone I can talk to about work, education, teaching, and parenting and be so on the same page. I’m very lucky.
Okay, enough of the mushy stuff. . .
Tonight at dinner, in his conversation with our kids about their day, he gave me the idea for this Quick Trick: Wait Time.
- Wait Time: Many talented teachers give their students Wait Time after they ask a question. More parents (including myself) should consider doing the same.
Wait Time is just that–time to wait and think before sharing an answer.
This is how the conversation went today at dinner:
My husband: Hey guys–I heard you had a busy day today–you played at Air Mania in the morning and went to the pool in the afternoon. I want you all to take a minute and think really hard about your favorite part of the day and then tell me what it was. Don’t tell me yet (everyone, of course, started talking at once. . . ). Think for a minute and then tell me. Owen, it’s your day, so you go first. . .
And so they shared. And I marveled at how smoothly it went, everyone taking turns and talking about really interesting parts of their days.
Wait time allows a breather, gives every mind time to sort out information and formulate the best response–even to a dinnertime question about the day’s activities.
Usually, I seem to move so quickly through the days that I forget to give my kiddos time to think before they answer me. Like most of us, I tend to rush through one thing in order to move to the next, and Wait Time forces everyone to slow down. I know I need to do it more.
One reading researcher who writes about questioning and assessment believes that “thoughtful answers require thought and thought requires time.”
(Afflerbach, P. (2007). Teacher Questioning as Assessment. In Understanding and Using Reading Assessment, K–12 (pp. 51-71). Newark, DE: International Reading Association. 61.).
Sure. Right! Of course!! This makes complete sense. Now I just need to do it.Pin It