Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Be a sticker not a quitter.

The angle was very acute.

This is the prompt for the 100wc this week. However, I have decided to write something else completely!

Be a sticker not a quitter

I have this written in my classroom above the board and it is something I find myself saying over and over again. As a primary school teacher not a day goes past that a child doesn’t find something difficult until that magical light bulb moment when you and they know that they have grasped the concept. It doesn’t matter whether it is being able to spell a word, make a prediction, work out a calculation, interpret a chart, spot the mistake , tie a lace… each and every step along the path to learning is important.
I feel it is vital to give children the confidence to have a go, even if they are not sure if they will be right or not, so that they can experience the pleasure that comes from success. And to learn to cope when things don’t go their way.  It seems that more and more this “stickability” doesn’t come naturally.
So, have I got a solution? I try to have an ethos in my class where every child feels safe and secure to have a go. We make good use of working partners and I have been totally sold on the use of lolly sticks (or similar) to choose children rather than hands up. Even the least confident children in my class will have a go and take part. Now that , in my opinion, is what teaching is all about. Empowering children to have the confidence to ask questions, want to find out more, not be afraid to have their own opinions.
I have been busy trying to organise a project involving all the local schools and have had to write a lot of letters, make a lot of calls and write a lot of emails . But, it is all starting to come together now.  
So, whatever comes with new curriculum proposals, I will keep true to my class mantra. If only the “powers that be” could remember that it’s all about the children, that it’s our job as educators to enthuse, engage, inspire a love of learning. Give them the tools to be able to find out more.

“The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.” Plutarch.

Amen to that. 

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