Right now, I am sitting and watching my four year old daughter’s skating lesson. At first glance, it is chaos. There are kids, leaders, and toys everywhere. There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to what is going on at all.
This is not my first time here, however, and the more I watch and the more I think about it, the more convinced I am that what I am witnessing is real learning and is something that teachers should strive to model our classroom.
What I have learned is that the skating instructors have chosen all of this “stuff” carefully and at a developmentally appropriate level and arranged in a way that allows the kids to explore and develop. The instuctors don’t take the kids through “lessons”. They guide them as they explore and learn at their own pace. Kids move on when they are ready and don’t get pushed into situations that they are not ready for.
You know what else I have seen? Progress…and smiles…and joy.
Lessons for all teachers.