Sunnybrook Montessori School

Montessori preschool & kindergarten in New Hampshire's North Country

To Teach or Not to Teach . . .

One of the biggest struggles I have is when to guide students and when to step back.  In last week’s post I introduced this idea of  waiting to intervene in social situations.  This applies equally with every other area.  When students are struggling with solving something, I know it is best to observe and wait for them to figure it out on their own.  I know that they learn best when they work through it independently and have that “aha” moment.  I know that the benefits are so much higher than if I “teach” them through it.  Unfortunately, sometimes my desire to rescue them overcomes me and I do them a disservice by interfering.  I am constantly judging when it is still a productive struggle, and when the point of frustration has been reached.  Stepping back has so many positive outcomes, particularly the confidence and sense of accomplishment they get when they figure it out themselves and a true, deeper understanding.  They also develop perseverance, a passion for learning, the ability to think and problem solve, the knowledge that they are capable, and the knowledge that you have faith in them.  There are so many benefits to giving them the opportunity to teach themselves.  I am working to do a better job of introducing, encouraging them to persevere, to ask the questions they need to ask themselves in order to figure it out, and demonstrate my faith in their abilities.

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