I am still working on wait time myself. It feels like a really long time when the students are thinking of their answers, but it makes a big difference in the end. The post below wrote the experience well, and I like the advice!
At my placement today, I really saw the connection between my master’s courses and part-time teaching! I was debriefing with my CT about the math lesson I taught and prepping for the one I teach tomorrow when she brought up the importance of positive comments rather than negative ones in regards to behavior. I instantly thought, “Haven’t I heard that before?” In my motivation and management class last night, we had a mini-presentation on this topic and the various ways to correct behavior. With children, you want to re-direct their attention, but not in a condescending way. Saying, “I like how Sarah grabbed her book quietly,” gives students a hint while praising the child for doing the right thing. There are many ideas about doing this to make other students follow suit – it is building awareness of the fact that they probably didn’t get their book in silence, but it isn’t pin-pointing who they are. During our conversation, my CT also brought up WAIT TIME because I was worried that I wasn’t engaging the students since no one responded to my question. She explained that you should wait 20 seconds before calling on someone. We discussed this in my course about English Language Learners tonight. It takes young children time to process what you just said to them. The information doesn’t always come to the surface right away and if teachers just call on the few who already know it, the students who struggle won’t learn it on their own. I knew that my courses were meant to help me with my field placement experience, but actually seeing the same concepts in action and being discussed made it click 🙂 I’m excited that I remembered about wait time and positive behaviors as well. They throw a lot of content at us and it’s great that things are connecting. Hopefully, more events like this will occur!