The art of stepping back

Possibly one of the most important lessons I have learned in my teaching career so far has been learning “the art of stepping back”.The role of the teacher has always been seen as that of “problem solvers”. When a child is struggling to find a solution or doesn’t know the answer to something unknown, our instinct is often to take immediate action and respond to it. Although the intention is to help, things must be done differently for the child’s own benefit.

How are children going to be able to develop their identity if they are not given the opportunity to develop their critical thinking?Our role as teachers is to follow the child’s interest, provoke situations and guide them by providing appropriate materials. Why do I say guiding? In order for your children to understand something, they must explore it themselves and it has to make sense for them. We, teachers, investigate alongside children, we become part of the experience as learners and guides. Taking a “step back” allows us to take our children to another level of learning and understanding by observing them and giving them the freedom to think for themselves.We believe in them ,we think they are capable and that’s why we don’t tell them what to see, do or feel. While in this process of children finding answers and making their own theories, wonderful things happen.

 I think Piaget said perfectly: “When you teach a child something, you take away forever this chance of discovering it for himself.”

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