Learning and Sharing

Think time and Wait Time

on August 12, 2013


Lately, I have been mindful of  how much think time and wait time that I need in my day to day interactions with others.  I get really annoyed when others interrupt my thinking process by repeating the question that was just asked or fill in my pauses with their own words.   I’m thinking “how often do I do that to my students?”.   I just read that in most classrooms, students are typically given less than one second to respond to a question posed by a teacher.  Whoa!

I have also noticed that when I greet some of my students during the school day and they do not respond within a second, the adults with them start prompting “Say hi” and keep saying “Say hi” without pausing.  Again, Whoa!

As a speech pathologist, I know the importance of wait time.  I know that if I want to connect with a student I need to give them enough wait time to process what I have asked or said.  Waiting expectantly  lets the student know that I am interested in what he/she has to say.  Dena Lee writes in Ten Keys to Becoming a Better Communication Partner, “Repeating the directions or giving the child help without waiting, takes away their communication opportunity”.

Please read the lovely series posted on  The author Kim  Rowe writes about the Perfect Pause.  I work in a preschool as well as an elementary school and I plan to share 10 Ways to Practice Waiting with parents and teachers.

Waiting and giving think time and wait time is soooooo hard but so very important to our students.  We have to think about it on purpose and remind ourselves how to be a good communication partner.

This year I plan to have visual reminders all around me to help me to be mindful of the need for think time and wait time.


This visual prompt from  will remind me to stop, wait, think.


I love this visual from  I am going to post these all around the school and hand them out to all the support staff.

My Best,


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