Intuitively Timed Breaks

The pace of the lessons is interrupted from time to time with what seem to be "intuitively timed" breaks, during which the teachers give an extended demonstration or tell a story. The teachers seem to sense when breaks from the intense pace of the lessons are needed. In order to allow for mental and physical relaxation, teachers depart from rapid teacher-student interactions by telling an interesting or entertaining story or by elaborating on something previously discussed. These breaks are clearly departures from the task at hand and seem to serve as brief, pleasant diversions for both the student and the teacher. Once students and teachers have had time to relax, the more intense interactions resume. When the pace changes from rapid alternation of teacher and student activity episodes to longer breaks and back again, there is little or no transition time in getting back to the intense pace. In fact, the pacing of the lessons seems almost dichotomous. The teacher is clearly in control of the pace of the lesson.