Do you have any rituals or routines that you stick by?
Some teachers manage to make time for off-piste activities and they do so because it builds relationships.
One activity I have seen recently is something called ‘CQC’ or Celebrations, Questions, Concerns which allows children to share what’s important to them and what’s on their minds. It’s an activity that is featured in Kyle Schwartz’s brilliant book I wish my teacher knew.
CQC is really very simple to do and requires no special equipment or photocopies. You just need to ask your class, “Would anyone like to share with the rest of the class a celebration, a question or a concern?”
There will always be plenty of takers when you ask this question but to get the ball rolling you might want to start with something yourself.
Children can use a CQC session to share with everyone something happening in their lives and this helps the class to get to know each other in more depth. You could make this a daily session or something to do a the beginning/middle or end of the week.
Although some children might be reluctant to say anything, it’s important every child gets their opportunity and others aren’t allowed to dominate. Anything snippets and slices of life that the children share gives teachers valuable information and help to build a picture in conjunction with other activities and conversations. The things children say will help us pinpoint or become aware of particular issues and can help to provide a starting-point for support.
CQC is an excellent idea for using in circle time or similar and will allow children to share their feelings and ask things that are pinballing in their heads. And as Kyle says,
Whatever form CQC takes, asking students about their lives and genuinely listening without judgment will help promote a strong community in your classroom.