Circle time: an opportunity for connection and expression

Circle time: an opportunity for connection and expression

Listening to a very real and practical interview about connection with kids in the classroom with Kristy Wood from Kids in Connection inspired me to re-evaluate my approach to circle time sessions in my own classroom.

The interview presented many ‘a-ha’ moments about kids, what is going on in society today with children, and the way we as parents and teachers are with them.

Through many years of teaching children in a classroom full-time, making it about the ‘kids first’ has always been the priority for me. Children’s learning, their behaviour and their feelings towards school and education, are directly influenced by the way they are supported, met, engaged with and treated in their school day.

Having circle time first thing in the morning is a great way to connect with each other, find out how kids are feeling, what is going on for them behind the scenes, and set the tone of the day. This time supports the kids to feel they have a space in which to express safely, providing an opportunity for the teacher to have a connection with each child and for them to connect with each other. Experience has shown that Circle time naturally builds kids’ confidence to speak in a group and allows them to be more understanding and supportive of each other in their relations during the day. A fabulous foundation to start learning from!

Previously Circle time always had a theme to it but I realised that this was actually stunting the kids from sharing what they wanted and actually needed to express.

So there was more to be considered . . . a potential to refresh Circle time. I had never thought to say “Just share one thing” during circle time, as presented by Kristy Wood – giving the children a chance to freely express their own topic, what was happening for them on that day.

Small changes like these have made a huge difference in our classroom interactions and relationships. When we have a willingness to deepen our experience of practising our connection with kids in the classroom, they all feel seen, heard and met.

The class now has a different foundation for the day. Children have the opportunity to share freely and express themselves during circle time, supportively listening and interacting. With this foundation we connect, not bound by our age or our roles as teachers and students but by the presence and openness we bring to the class, and by our ability to work together and support each other in our learning.

As teachers, our presence and connection makes all the difference to the quality of the experiences students have in the classroom. It can deepen our understanding and the way we respond to the children in our care.

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Performance anxietyTeenagersSelf-empowermentTeachersOverwhelm

  • By Johanna Smith, BA Education, Grad. Cert. Early Childhood, EPA Practitioner, Teacher, Mother, Wife

    A woman with a love of truth, people and community health and well-being. She knows that how we live directly contributes to how we feel.

  • Photography: Rebecca UK, Photographer

    I am a tender and sensitive woman who is inspired by the playfulness of children and the beauty of nature. I love photographing people and capturing magical and joyful moments on my camera.