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Monday, March 27, 2017

The Miracle of Five Minutes

On average, a teacher spends about 45 minutes with the students every day.  However, with the aim of completing the required lesson plans and the overwhelming number of students in each class, teachers are usually guilty of failing to make a REAL teacher-student connection.

Several studies have shown that a teacher has great impact in the trajectory of students and a constructive relationship can build a strong connection for learning. Specific lessons are easily forgotten but a student does not forget how a teacher makes a difference in his life.

Recently, I noticed my students interrupting me at the middle of discussion so eager to share about variety of things. Sometimes, they are totally off the topic and it has something to do more with their struggles and exciting news they have for the day. That’s when I thought of giving them five minutes before the start of the lesson to write everything they want to share. The result was amazing. Writing for five minutes gives them a moment to be quiet and think about their day. In the same way, it also enlightens me about what they are going through. The next day, I usually give them encouraging short notes which is related to what they wrote the previous class.

The activity obviously makes them feel more important and their class participation is a lot better. Kids want to feel that they are not only noticed because they have done something wrong but because a teacher cares. I am sure that they will treasure more the five minutes I gave them than the rest of the time I discussed the lesson. Remember, "Students do not care how much you know until they know how much you care".







18 comments:

  1. This is a great idea to spend five minutes sharing through writing! The teachers that I remember are the ones who took the time to care and these teachers made the biggest impact on my future.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! It's a short time but enough to make kids feel special.

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  2. What a great idea! It seems to be getting harder and harder for teachers to spend the time necessary with their students with everything else they need to do.Any time a child wants to speak and share it is encouraging for the future. I have a daughter studying to be a teacher and I hope when she graduates and gets a job that she can incorporate "5 minutes" into her day.

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  3. This is a wonderful idea! I wish more teachers would do this with their students. It isn't possible to have one on one time with the students every day so having something like this is a fantastic way for them to feel heard, connected and welcomed in the class.

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    Replies
    1. Yes. Absolutely right! You still get to make them practice writing!

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  4. Great idea. I had a teacher who would KINDA do this. My teacher Mrs. Flynn would open up Spanish class every day just by chatting with us about our day, stuff we're watching on TV, and then about what her and her husband did the night before. She'd usually get really excited and go off on a tangent that would have our actual Spanish lesson starting about 15 mins after class actually started. She was a great teacher and I think we all loved her because we felt like she wasn't just tryin to teach us Spanish, but also just trying to relate with us. I think most kids appreciate that.

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  5. Love this! I'm not a teacher, but I see how it can be applied to everyday life. It's important to reflect. It's wonderful that you give your students the ability to do that.

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  6. As a fellow teacher, this is 100% on point! And it's "those" kids, the ones everyone warns you about...that are usually the ones needing it most. Once you have them on your side and they know you GENUINELY care, your entire class dynamic will change for the better.

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  7. I wish my teachers would have done this when I was in school! I was a very shy child, so I didn't like to share in front of the class; however, I didn't mind writing!

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  8. This is time management at its absolute best! Your last quote sums it all up. 75% of what students learn in school is not applicable to their everyday life as grown adults anyways.

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  9. Well said! I taught for 35 years and I always wonder how much of an influence I had on those lives. Your 5 minutes of connecting with them in their interests will be something they will forever remember. Well done!

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  10. My students spend a lot of time writing. However, this would be easy to incorporate, especially as a bell-ringer activity.

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  11. This is such a great idea! I really wish more teachers would do things like this. Because it really teaches kids that teachers care about them. I’m sending this to a teacher that I know, in the hope that it may help them.

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  12. Wow! Such an innovative idea. I wish there are more teachers like you who would have been a little more thoughtful about the kids, about teaching is just a not a job. Thank you for sharing this post.

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  13. I love your post so so much.Wonderful 5 minutes for understanding the mind.

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  14. This is super sweet-- and I'll bet they learned that they didn't need to say as much' once they wrote a few things down.

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  15. I adore this. I have teens and even though I’m not a teacher to others I am a teacher to my kids. I love the idea of taken that moment to gather your thoughts !! Lovely !!

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