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phone call awkwardness
Old 03-28-2020, 10:49 AM
 
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I decided to call my students individually next week since we aren't allowed to video with them. Some of my kids will probably have loads to say, others will have nothing. I hate awkward silence. Since they haven't been anywhere and probably haven't done much, any open ended questions I could ask them besides tell me about the book you're reading? (BTW they're in el. school)
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Old 03-28-2020, 11:44 AM
 
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Sometimes a little awkward silence is good. They will probably feel more awkward about it than you and fill the silence.

Mine often immediately start talking about Roblox and Minecraft, so be prepared for that.

What is something that you could do tomorrow that you have never done?
What skill would you like to improve during this time when you can't go anywhere?
Rose and thorn sharing - what's the best thing that happened to you today, what's the worst? (Optional: bud sharing - what's the thing you're most looking forward to tomorrow?)
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Old 03-28-2020, 11:55 AM
 
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How are you feeling having to have school at home?
Do you have a quiet space that you can work in every day?
Is your space set up with paper, pencils and a comfy chair?
What's it like working at home for you?
What's been difficult for you?
Do you know how to use google classroom (or whatever)
Is there a lot of work?
Maybe talk about the virus only if they bring it up and assure them they're safe.

Can I help you with any of your work?
Is there an email they can contact you if so make sure they have it.

Take care of them emotionally before work.
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Old 03-28-2020, 12:16 PM
 
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how have you been creative by coming up with ways to stay busy and engaged?
how have you helped around the house?
what are you missing most about school?
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Old 03-28-2020, 01:37 PM
 
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What's something funny that happened today?

Do you have a movie/TV/music recommendation for me?


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Old 03-30-2020, 07:59 AM
 
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I'd agree with those who've suggested some silence is not so bad... in counseling, I was taught to pause when a client "finished" talking because they'll often start again with something even more significant.

You have some great suggestions here... I like open-ended questions like "Are you okay?" "How are you doing?"

Think about what you want to achieve with the call. If you simply want the kids to know you miss them, it may not take more than telling them that. "I just wanted you to know I miss you lots... are you doing okay?"

Just the act of making the call will be important. Keep a reasonable expectation. One of my favorite questions at school is "Tell me one thing you learned today." If they say "nothing," I may let it go or follow up with "What's one thing you wish you'd learned today?" It's easier in person because we can see their face and non-verbals. On the phone you have to make judgments without much information... how hard do we try to keep a conversation going?

That's why I'm suggesting you think hard about what you want to achieve.

Personally, I wouldn't be afraid of questions from them about the virus... but I would be cautious about the kinds of question I ask.
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