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The time and compulsion to think.

Did you wake up this morning on the treadmill, wondering how you got there?
Did you wake up accidentally eating half a grapefruit as opposed to the usual Coco Pops?

Of course you didn’t.  A change in behaviours like these requires a choice and making a choice requires thought.

There are, of course, a myriad of ways that you can prompt thought, particularly in our students.  But my experience is that the best way is to ask questions.  Just to answer a question a student needs to think.

Yet, as Teachers, we often default to telling students what they’ve done or need to do before we ask.  My suggestion is that we need to apply more pressure for poor behaviour choices through asking tougher questions … and then shutting up!

So, the next time you ask a student what they did … wait (count in your head to keep yourself busy if need be).  First responses to questions like “What happened there?” are often a non-comittal Nothing or I Dunno.  But instead of leaping into the expected lecture here with  “Well, I’ll tell you what happened then … blah blah blah” (which fail to provoke thought and instead encouraging students to merely endureus) try “No worries, I’ll give you a little time to think about it.” … and stare!

Within that awkward, elongated wait time – students begin to think.  Often it’s starts with internal dialogue like “OMG! How do I get rid of this weirdo?  What did he ask me?  Oh that’s right.  He asked what happened?  Ok – I’ll just tell him and see if that gets me off the hook”.  I’ll take that self-talk.  It’s a start.

What I won’t tolerate is students refusing to think.  So keep that expectation high, provide the time to think and learn the art of fierce, unrelenting eye contact.

Free WEBINAR – Switch Off!

I’m delighted to announce that we have a Guest Presenter for our April Webinar – Angela Lockwood.  How can I put this?  … Ange is awesome!

Drawing upon a long career working with children, individuals, schools and organisations, Angela knows how to integrate the skills of slowing down into the fast-paced and pressured lives of educators.

In this webinar Angela will show you how to:

  • Recognise when it’s time to switch off and how to take immediate action.
  • Understand your behaviours and triggers to prevent a melt-down.
  • Build habits that help you flick the switch between focus, productivity and rest so you can have the energy to take you through the year.

Whether you’re needing time to contemplate big decisions, feeling burnt out in need of a holiday, or just needing some time to clear space in your life, this webinar will introduce you to a practical framework to help you slow down and take control.

This Real Schools Webinar is aimed at Teachers, School Leaders and Administrators of all phases of learning.