Wednesday was another day

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.

3 thoughts on “Wednesday was another day”

  1. My strategy has mostly been “keep going.” But yeah, once in a while, that doesn’t work — once in a while, nothing works. And yeah, sometimes after a lesson totally bombs, you’ll use the same lesson plan again, but with a different group, and it works really, really well. Sigh….

  2. What if you started out the “problem” group today by addressing last week’s meltdown, offering a different way for parents to deal with the toddlers’ lack of focus? Give them a plan of how you’d like to see things go today (stay and work it out, or flee with screaming toddler – your choice). I think being up front and acknowledging that it wasn’t great last week also spreads the responsibility around rather than singling out a parent as the problem arises today.

  3. I always stop if there’s something wonky going on. Address it, offer a solution (always have one in the back of your metaphorical pocket), then pick up where you left off. If you keep going — at least in my experience — it sends a message that you’re not acknowledging that there is a problem right in front of you. And that can get confusing, for everyone. At least in my experience…

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