Wait Time = My Everest
Posted by newbie-tchr at 5:05 pm in Classroom management, Time!

Out of all the observations that have come back to me so far, the number one area that “needs improvement,” is wait time. What’s wait time, you say? Only the most impossible thing ever for someone who has no patience for it. In dealing with talkers and those not paying attention, the powers that be have advised me to practice “waiting” for the students to be quiet. Stand up front, and literally wait for them to shut-up, while watching the clock. Not only do I keep forgetting to do this, but it kills me inside. The entire time I’m standing up there waiting, I’m having to hold back what I really want to do – which is to tell them to sit down and be quiet AND i’m counting the precious moments I have left to cover content. With planned testing, I only have so long to cover all my content before an exam, and the entire time the seconds are draining by I’m thinking of how I’m going to make everything fit for the rest of class. Out of respect/desperation, I’m going to try this…I even wrote “wait time” on a piece of paper in the back of the classroom to remind me. But I have to admit, I never thought that waiting for anything would be as hard as this is.

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  1. I had the EXACT same criticism when student teaching. I made it into a game for myself: spend the “time” trying to either 1) predict to myself what a certain student’s response might be or 2) think of possible strategies for prompting or probing to get the correct response if it does not evolve from the question currently on the table. By spending the time “strategizing” I could hold my tongue longer…All of us teachers LOVE to fill the vacancy of silence, but class is not a cocktail party…so thoughtful silence is good! Hang in there.