First, get parents involved so they instruct their children about what they want their kids to contemplate about the night before. This is a wonderful parental opportunity to teach their children about responsibility, moral behavior, or the values of their family.
At school, prior to the Moment of Silence, the teacher can remind students to think about what their parents instructed the night before or have a checklist of ideas such as:
• Think about how you would like to be treated by other students
• The importance of homework
• Reasons for studying for tests
• Importance of reading, math, science, etc.
Suggest one idea per day dependent on classroom dynamics or problems.
The Moment of Silence, a 60 second observance has been practiced in many New York City public schools. Avraham Frank, who is pushing this concept throughout Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens, says, “This is for the good of the children so they grow up to become upstanding citizens of society.”
At one of Frank’s schools, P.S. 191, Sonia Witter-Clue, the supervising school aide said, “The kids want to be here for the Moment of Silence.” Attendance and tardiness problems have improved dramatically. Hadar Gafhi, the school’s vice-principal said, “It focuses the children. They made their resolutions for the day and are ready to learn, and they get right to work.” She is seeing tremendous academic growth at PS 191.
One child said, “The moment of silence teaches us not to hit one another.” A third grader said, “The Moment of Silence helps me learn and be great in my school work.” A fifth grader summed it up when he said, “It helps me focus more so I can complete my work.”
I strongly suggest you implement the Moment of Silence in your classroom and perhaps suggest school-wide implementation. It’s a great way to get parental involvement, get kids focused, improve academics, and improve classroom behavior. And it only takes a minute.
Michael Thal is the author of Koolura and the Mystery at Camp Saddleback.