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Teaching Tip: Waiting for a Response


Class discussion is a valuable teaching and learning technique.  One of the most vexing problems that can occur when using this technique is the failure of students to respond. It takes resolve to accept periods of silence. Most experts recommend waiting for about 10 seconds before jumping in yourself. However, research shows that teachers typically wait just 2 to 3 seconds.  Students become too comfortable when teachers do this, and they tend to sit back and wait for the teacher to say something. Here are a couple of things you can try to help you achieve the 10 second wait period.  Moving to another part of the room is one thing you can try.  Another is to write something on the chalkboard.  These simple actions will often prompt one or two students to participate with other students to follow.
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