Each day during March, I am participating in the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Story Challenge (SOLSC). All participants are writing about one moment, one part of their day, every day for thirty-one days. My slices will be primarily about teaching preschoolers. Check out the Two Writing Teachers website for lots more reflections on teaching. Thanks especially to Stacey, Tara, Anna, Beth, Dana, and Betsy for hosting this writing challenge.
How much help or assistance to give a child?
How do you know when you are doing too much?
When do you let a child figure something on their own?
How do we help them feel comfortable about striving, about the struggle?
What does struggle look and feel like, in a child?
Preschoolers beg me each day to hold their hands while they walk along our playground's balance beam. Often, I do, knowing it gives me an opportunity to have a conversation, one-on-one, with a child, an opportunity to build our relationship.
But today I began to wonder if I was 'enabling' them, keeping them dependent on an adult's help on this playground equipment.
I playfully announced - "Hear ye, hear ye! Today is a big day! Everyone gets to do the balance beam on their own! While learning, they may wobble, they may fall onto the mulch, they may struggle - but everyone will have fun, doing it their way! Hear ye! Hear ye!"
They had a blast, falling and trying, trying and falling. Laughing together, lots. And then, simply walking along the beam.