In my pre-school class I constantly get children coming to ask me to do things for them. I have found the skill of respecting their struggle really helpful and it seems to give them courage to continue finding an alternate way. Take for example….
Megan: “Robin, I can’t make this heart.”
Robin: “Mmm, it can be quite tricky cutting out along those lines. It looks like those lines are really small. Maybe we can make a plan. What can we do to make those lines easier to see?”
Megan: “Maybe we can draw them again, with a big crayon.”
After having completed the heart and having regained self-confidence and pride, Ryan comes to complain about the same problem.
Robin: “It looks like these hearts are difficult to cut out. Megan came up with a good plan. Perhaps you can ask her to show you her plan.”
With that Ryan asks Megan for her idea and Megan beams with pride as she shows Ryan her idea and how it worked. Through this situation Megan has learnt that she has good ideas and that the children can help each other in solving problems. As the teacher I shifted the responsibility back to the children and they grow from the experience.