Last week, my assistant and I sat together for an online one hour seminar by Becky Bailey from edWeb which was free and great. Any opportunity to listen to that lady talk is worth ones while, and one sentence that has stuck with me since was this:
"Instead of thinking,
How do I MAKE the children to do ______________
How do I help the children become independent and successful at doing ___________________."
A version of that is what we do all the time in the classroom, but hearing it put that way, as two opposing statements was very clear and helpful to me. Sometimes, because my assertive voice and piercing eyes can instantly persuade a child to stop doing something, I lose the opportunity to take note and teach instead of correct. The power spoils the key and uses the pickax.
What a difference it makes to be problem solving in terms of their independence and success at the tasks. I'm trying to find the sustainable solutions that they can carry out on their own without a police to regulate the smooth functioning of the small society of our classroom.
These days as I spend some time observing in my stool, I look at the glitches, the moments where there is conflict or hurt, and think about how to help the children succeed through that difficulty independently. I brainstorm the lessons right there from the observation stool and they become the lesson plan for the next day.