So Monday’s storytime was a bit rough…but then I did the exact same storytime lesson plan on Wednesday, with a group of similar composition (i.e., ages and number of children), and it went very well. Though the two stories I read were long, this group was able to stay attentive; though there are a fair number of newbies in the group, the group dynamic was focused for most of the twenty minutes. This was good, since it reassured me that I’m not crazy and this lesson plan on hats can be used successfully with this group, but it also made me think that I should have changed tactics a bit more midway through the Monday storytime. If I had stopped and deliberately encouraged everyone to stick it out, rather than keep rolling as if there weren’t a problem, if I had addressed the unraveling of the group directly, then perhaps the entire storytime could have been resurrected. I did think about doing this, but I didn’t want any one parent to feel self-conscious or singled out, so I decided to just keep on going.
What is the best solution? Stop and talk about the meltdown when it’s happening, or keep going and give the parents and caregivers time and freedom to address inattention without feeling singled out? The “keep going” option has always, always worked for me before…but perhaps there are just times when it’s not the way to go.