A Response to “Talking and Listening Chairs” – Les tête-à-tête sont une nécessité

Having read Sangeeta’s blog about how ongoing conflicts can sometimes hijack your teaching agenda, I was struck with her concept of the “Talking and Listening Chairs”. From my own experience, I know that students seem to run into MANY misunderstandings and oftentimes lack both the forum and the verbal skills necessary to successfully solve their conflicts. Quite frankly, I think her idea is brilliant and the guidelines surrounding their use are thoughtfully considered. She has clearly established boundaries and parameters that would ensure success. With obviously less disruptions for the teacher, the real beneficiaries are the students themselves. Actually having a chance to air their grievances can help diffuse and prevent an emotional conflict from escalating into something more serious and simultaneously allows students to take ownership for solving their own problems. Finally, the end result would be to forge a stronger, deeper rapport between the children and a positive classroom atmosphere. Wow, all that from two chairs! Personally, I’m going to have to think a little more how I could implement this idea as a rotary teacher with older students and a cart (no permanent classroom)…


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