Flowing with the child


A seven year old child has been coming to me for a while. When he first started writing, he showed great reluctance towards it. One day during class, while we were doing something completely unrelated, he exclaimed that he would like to be in class for the whole day and learn various things across the day. Spontaneously, I asked him to create a time-table for himself. A part of me thought that this was just his new whim, and he would not sit down and create a timetable given his aversion to writing. However, to my surprise he did. A time-table which reflected so clearly, his enthusiasm for learning. I was quite surprised and impressed!

It is in moments like these, I learn the flexibility that a teacher should have. I could have continued with what I was doing but by picking on his interest at that moment, I allowed him to initiate the process of writing himself, which at other times had required a larger insistence from my end. As teachers we put in substantial amount of time in planning and envisioning our classes. While this is great, a teacher at any point should be ready to let her plans be overturned. Your lesson for today is on skip counting, but you find your children busy playing with blocks. Maybe, this is an opportunity to use this as a lesson on shapes. Ask them to make a square garden with the blocks! Ask them to to divide the garden into four! We can shift, flow and become very creative in our ways of teaching when we remain open!

To understand the mood of the child or group of children (class) and flow with it sometimes allows for greater learning to happen than when the teacher vehemently sticks to her plan. In no way do I undermine with this post, the need for planning, but emphasise on the possibilities that open up when we allow our plans to be changed!

(You can see the wonderful timetable, this delightful child came up with below)

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