When a preschooler speaks out during circletime, is that an interruption or an interaction?

Stick with me on this post for the next few minutes and then decide for yourself!

When I am sitting with a group of young children and someone blurts out a story or a thought, then I have to decide whether that is an interruption or an interaction.  Should I stop and listen or should I cut the child off so we can move on with my story or other agenda?

The problem with stopping the child in the middle of his or her thought is that I now have to interrupt the child who just interrupted me. So the next thing you know, we are going back and forth interrupting each other. I know I can win the battle but at what cost? After all, isn’t gathering as a community supposed to be a give and take of ideas and conversations?

The more I focus my energy on keeping children from interrupting by having the “do not interrupt” mindset, the more it seems I get interrupted. Then I realized, perhaps I need to change my mind-set from a ‘do not interrupt’ mindset to an ‘interactive’ mindset.

Yes, I want to encourage and teach the children to self-regulate and use manners but too much focus on every interruption doesn’t teach us anything. It simply creates a battle that dismisses what the clear need is. There is a need for me to be more interactive in my approach.

So I have been focusing on being more interactive with the students. And guess what? Either we are having less interruptions or I am not noticing them as much because I am too busy interacting.

So the question remains: when students speak out during circletime; is it an interruption or an interaction? I think it is a sign that I need to be more interactive so I don’t keep having to interrupt my students every time they try to interact with me.

More to Grow On…

Bam Radio Show

I participated in a Bam Radio show recently where the topic of discussion was on interruptions. The guest speaker had some suggestions for keeping children quiet and preventing interruptions. I think it is worth exploring all sides of an issue but in the end, I came away with the thought that in preschool, we need to be focusing less on interrupting and more on interacting.  If you would like to check out the bam radio show conversation, you can do so right here…

Managing Classroom Interruptions: Students Gone Wild

With Rae Pica, Janelle Cox, and Deborah Stewart