Another day of schooling, and for me it’s always fun. What I was taught today was Quality Circle Time or QCT popularly known in the teachers world. For those of you who know, you can understand my excitement in being a child all over again! Just to let you know, children usually refer to it as “Circle Time”. So, what is Circle Time? I asked my 11 year old. His answer, ” Oh yes, mommy, we have circle time every day. It’s a time just before class begins, all of us have to sit together in a circle, and the teacher tells us the routine of the day, asks us how we are feeling, what we did last night or over the weekend, and usually ends with an activity. The whole process usually lasts for 25 or 30 minutes”. He was bang on. I congratulate his observation. That is exactly what circle time is. For students, a whole lot of fun and laughter and activities. But for teachers? Another perception.
For teachers, or educators, circle time is an opportunity to learn and understand the behaviour of each of their students. There may be a possibility that a child who is usually energetic and vocal may be subdued and lacking interest during circle time. This incident will be the educator’s first observation of that particular child on that particular day. The questions that will pop up would typically be:
- Did the child sleep well?
- Are there any concerns at home?
- Is the child being bullied?
- Has there been any change in the home environment e.g. grandparents visiting, returning from a weekend trip?
- Has there been any correlation between circle time and school routine?
I am only giving examples. There could be more questions popping up depending upon the educator and familiarity with the child’s history. This is just a hypothetical scenario, important for us to understand. So, the above could be data points for the educator to dig in further and to keep an eye on this particular child during the day or many days. If I may say so, if a teacher is observant enough, Circle Time is an apt way of discovering data points that could go a long long way in helping a child in need.
Now, let’s look at the other perspectives. Not only does it help to “break the ice” between the student and teacher and all the other peers, but circle time also strengthens the bonding between the student, the teacher and their peers. During circle time, there is a sense of collaboration and team building efforts, that takes place during those fun activities. It strengthens the children’s motor skills, cognitive skills, behavioural skills (obviously depending on the activity). It inculcates each of the child to listen, to learn, to empathise, to respect and to share. All in those 25 minutes.
Now isn’t that a fun way of learning life skills?