Sunday, January 17, 2016

3 Words You Want to Hear from Learners

My favorite words to hear from Isaac just might be these: I did it!

Yep, it's all about Isaac, the 2 year old silly, adorable boy, (my grandson) who steals my heart every time I see him. He's gotten me thinking about the messages we give kids about what they can do and how they view obstacles. I've caught myself, offering to help, and stopped, dead, in my overly helpful "Gaga" tracks,  to let him struggle just a bit, especially as he teeters toward the point of frustration in building something, getting on his little bike, or climbing up onto the couch.

It's quite the dance, especially with toddlers, to embrace that tipping point of a potential meltdown and not want to rush in and prevent it. What I've learned is that it is so essential to stand back and wait and see what happens first.

You see, when you hear the words gleefully shouted, "I did it!!" you realize that your help might just have deprived the little one of that experience of momentary joy and empowerment.

As I think about older learners as well, I believe that the same applies. How often do we step in too soon, and possibly disempower kids? What are your thoughts on building self-efficacy and confidence?