I’ve been running class meetings for years now. It started out as a Monday morning meeting. My usual question is “What did you do over the weekend?” I had a class of very social kids many years ago, and they needed that time to talk.
Now it’s developed into something more. We’re meeting Mondays and Friday afternoons. Monday morning is our typical share. Friday, we discuss ways to improve things in our class.
I’ve had doubts along the way about whether it’s worth it. Today, I was reminded again why we need them.
My students have developed a comfort with each other and with me. They share details of their weekend. Today, one of my students shared something about his family that I wasn’t expecting. He’s a quiet student but was honest this morning and frank in what he shared. The students didn’t quite understand what he was talking about. As an adult, though, I understood that it was serious. And, he was still feeling bad.
I was able to talk with the counselor, and she had a conversation with him. We’ll keep the conversation going. I realize that if I hadn’t had that Monday morning meeting, I would have never known what was going on his life.
During our Friday meeting last week, students came up with a new idea to help manage the classroom better. I wouldn’t have thought of that idea, but it seemed to work today, and everyone was engaged.
Student responsibility, student comfort, establishing a compassionate classroom. I think classroom meetings are really worth it. Do you use them in your classroom?