My first few years teaching I was always stressed. I never seemed to have enough time to prepare for what I wanted to accomplish in a given day. All that change after I took the Responsive Classroom training offered AND paid for by my former school district.
In this training we actually DID many things we would be expected to implement in our classrooms. This included: morning meetings (all 4 components), recess (we played games OUTSIDE and TOGETHER), and academic choice…to name a few. One thing I LOVED was when we returned from lunch it was always QUIET TIME. The instructor would dim the lights, play soft music, and we were free to do ANYTHING quiet. Quiet time usually lasted 10 minutes but it was just what I needed to transition into our afternoon of learning.
The next year I implemented Quiet Time in my classroom and EVERYTHING changed. It was amazing. My stress level when down 110%. My students were given the same opportunities I was during my training. They came into the classroom which was dimmed with soft music playing and they were free to do a quiet activity WHEREVER they wished in the room. Of course we model choices and there was always a catch…if students chose to talk I got to pick where they sat. I set a timer so that we didn’t go over 10 minutes and during this time I would glance over my notes for my afternoon lessons and organize the materials.
My students LOVED Quiet Time. I LOVED Quiet Time.
Want to learn more? I recently found an primer on Quiet Time on Edutopia here. You can also ask me any questions you might have! You won’t be sorry you started this new routine in the fall!!!