When I needed to chat privately with a child or help a few students work out a problem together, I often did it during lunch or recess. Meeting outside of class time gave us more time to work on complicated issues and let me devote more energy and attention to the conversation. We’d do a walk-and-talk outside while I was on recess duty, or we’d have lunch in the classroom. Students usually appreciated this special attention, and setting aside a specific time for the talk gave everyone a chance to cool down and think about what they wanted to say.
Mike Anderson taught third, fourth, and fifth graders for fifteen years in Connecticut and New Hampshire. He joined NEFC as a full-time Responsive Classroom consultant in July 2008.