Spring has sprung!
The flowers are blooming, the sky is clearing (more often, anyway), and the temperature is getting warmer. Change is everywhere we look…including in our classrooms.
The very best part of being a teacher is watching the little ones you are tasked with educating grow and change over the course of a year. This is true for any age group, but for me, the preschool level is where so much of the magic happens. It is a time when the little ones start out needing you for everything, then grow by gaining the skills, words, and actions to do more on their own.
I love to foster this independence. I have observed something that seems easy to us grown-ups, like putting on a jacket, teach 3-year old children about patience, problem solving, corroboration, and empathy.
How, you ask? Let me tell you.
Putting on a jacket is a hard thing to do when you’re small…to get it to go around your back and be right side up is no easy feat! It takes practice.
First, I have the child try to do it, then, I show them how to do it. Afterward, I sit back and allow them to do it. They almost never get it the first couple of times and they have to work at it to make it happen by trying a new way or trying it again the way they were shown. More often than not, a friend (who has had to learn this new skill too) will step in to lend a helping hand.
As the school year begins winding down, task by task, these little ones are growing and changing into young people ready to take on the next step of life. By working to achieve their “little” milestones, they are building the skills, as well as the curiosity, needed to explore the “how” and “why” of bigger milestones.
Above all, they are gaining the self-confidence needed to try something hard on their own. It is fantastic to see and I, for one, cannot wait to see what they do next!