Excerpted from Education for a Civil Society: How Guidance Teaches Children Democratic Life Skills (pp. 98–100) | by Dan Gartrell
An important time to have contact talks is when children arrive in the morning. While this is generally a busy time for teachers, the effort to arrive a bit earlier in order to have the room ready enough to greet children individually can make a difference in teachers’ relationships with children and in setting the tone for the day. Here is an example of a morning contact talk.
In emotional terms, it might seem like this contact talk took several minutes. But in actuality, it took less than two minutes and only six exchanges. Jason no doubt made Jeb’s day less difficult by his willingness to listen to Jeb and to offer support. When later that morning Jeb spilled his glue, Jason was able to take Jeb’s perspective and help the boy cope. Otherwise Jeb might have exploded in frustration—and Jason might not have understood why. Contact talks are key in supportive teaching.