I have been thinking a lot about the building blocks we provide for young children – not just the wood blocks but our whole curriculum and approaches to teaching. Do we pay attention to the cues that tell us they can already do? Do we see when they need more support or when they are ready to try it on their own, building higher, taller, stronger?
Last night I went to my drum lesson feeling a bit insecure. I had missed a lesson when I was out-of-town so I rescheduled and that left me with only 3 days of practice and a full-page of fairly complicated rhythms. The first few went fine, the third was okay, but by the time we go to the fourth line, I was stumbling and awkward, my sticks and hands seemed felt like foreign objects. I always try to cover my frustrations, I am an adult after all. But my teacher simply paused and took another approach. He slowed things down, broke each line apart, and then helped me build it back up again. When the thirty minute lesson was over, I felt pretty successful.
Our teachers are in the throes of fall assessments and they are struggling with feeling confident about recording each child’s progress. I wonder how I could come alongside them and help them see what the children know how to do and where they are just beginning to develop? How can I pause, break it down, and help them build it up again? Something to think about.