What else do you think about that quote? No? Nobody else has an idea?
We've all been there where we're leading a discussion and we're asking meaningful questions and there's complete silence.
I know you're all looking down like, "Don't call on me. Don't call on me."
When that happens to me, my first move is to put myself in their shoes and to really figure out what is going on underneath the silence. Is it because they don't understand the content? Is it because they're nervous about other people in the room? Is it because of something that I hadn't even accounted for?
Who marked something down? I heard you talking.
A lot of what's going on in terms of quiet in a classroom, especially early on in a course before kids get to know each other, has a lot more to do with wanting to be sure they're going to be accepted by their peers. And I have to be the lead learner in that scenario.
What did you mark? What do you think is important?
There're some different ways that I can handle that. Sometimes, I just let the silence sit. Let it be quiet for a while.
I'm really good at waiting, and I'm super patient.
Sometimes I just tell them that I'm really patient, which I truly am. Other times, I will maybe start to tell them in advance.
Turn and talk.
And so, they have some time to think and to talk to each other before I ask them to share.
I asked you guys to kind of think about what you could share. Do you want too start?
So they still have some choice, but at the same time, they're also kind of getting permission to talk out loud.
Speaker 2: They really have no idea what's behind them or what's going on. The only thing that they can see is the shadows.
Speaker 1: Exactly. It's kind of like, we don't know what we don't know. Yeah, you're right. We're snapping.
Sometimes, I will take what they've said, and I'll paraphrase it. Sometimes, I will try to build on it, because I'm trying to model what discussion and conversation can look like for us in this classroom.
Tell me something that you talked about, that you remember from the essay yesterday.
Speaker 2: Sometimes to find out the truth, you have to put forth effort or want to find out the truth, and some people may not want to do that.
Speaker 1: Absolutely. You've got it. What else?
Speaker 2: I want to say something, but I don't want to say it wrong.
No judgment in this class.
Speaker 1: There's no judgment. Besides, even if it's not quite right, I'll help you out.
Speaker 2: Okay.
Speaker 1: There are always quiet moments everybody is worried that they might be wrong or might be judged, so as a teacher in that moment, I need to not get uncomfortable about the silence, and I have to remember to put myself in their shoes.
Speaker 2: You don't know it's wrong until someone proves that it's wrong. You know what I mean?
You don't know what you don't know.
That's what I was trying to-
Speaker 1: You've got it. You don't know what you don't know.