Sunday, December 9, 2018

Where You Lead, I Will Follow

"If a kid can do it, he or she should do it." That's been my motto for several years. One of my professors said that in a master's class and it really stuck. I was spending so much time doing things for kids that they could do themselves because I wanted everything to be perfect. I finally realized that it was time to let go of the "perfection" of the room and let the room belong to the kids. It's their room anyway! 

So what that means is this:  Kids tear out the workbook pages. Kids cut out art. Kids do more of the writing. Kids do the lunch count. Kids pass out the papers. Kids pick up the room. Kids open their own packages of crackers. Kids tie their own shoes. Is my room chaotic? Yes. Do I want to jump in and do it for them most of the time? Heck yes! Do I have many chopped up art projects? You bet! But they are learning independence and that I believe in them. 

One problem out of all this independence has emerged. I haven't let go of the reigns in one very important area. When I teach a lesson, I get excited and talk. A lot. Guess who doesn't get to talk if I talk too much? My students are very excited to learn. They are also excited to talk. I know that they have great things to say and they can lead in more ways than I've let them. Sometimes I know what I want to say and fit into the time we have so I might squash their ideas to finish mine. 

I'm going to practice what I preach so if they can do it, they will! I'm working hard to let go of being the star of the show. It took a while for me to let kids do the things they do now though so I know it can be done! 

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