Monday, January 12, 2015

Too Much Talking?

A couple of weeks ago, I had an unusual experience in our church kindergarten class. It was quiet.

Only four kids were there that day - our four quietest kids. They worked and played the entire time.

But it was quiet. Not much talking, except for me and Mrs. Cindy. We would ask questions or make comments about what we saw happening. The kids would respond - with a nod or a soft reply.

But it was quiet. Sometimes the girls would quietly discuss what they were cooking as they worked in the kitchen. When the comments were soft and beyond my hearing...unless I moved into the kitchen myself.

So I began to do a lot of watching and a lot less talking. I didn't move into the kitchen to eavesdrop but instead stayed back and watched their play.

I watched a boy construct an elaborate structure in the blocks. He would modify the structure and try various things to get what he wanted. A couple of times, I made a comment or asked a question. But mostly I watched.

It was quiet in the classroom. But that doesn't mean it was boring or unproductive or non-engaging.

I've worked in early childhood classrooms for a while. I've seen and heard a lot of things. I expect and tolerate noise. But quiet was a new experience. Usually quiet signals danger or concern.

But this time quiet just meant thinking and working were happening.

And I learned that I don't need to talk too much.

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