Watching kids trying to write is almost as much fun as writing. They ponder and scratch, erase and carefully print. Helping them spell “neighborhood” or “principal” is a good indication that they are thinking and processing information. But as was the case with math, the levels of expertise are all over the board.
My greatest frustration is wanting to help all of them reach competence. In math, it’s about adding and subtracting two numbers. In writing, it’s understanding concepts such as paragraphs, punctuation and proper nouns.
Clearly, if I could impart instant wisdom in conjunction with retention, I would do so. But as an advocate and disciple of education, I know that mistakes and victories are as critical to the learning process as memorization. Somewhere between magic and agony is finding the best way to coach and assist with an emphasis on individual styles and perpetual growth.
The best part of being an active observer is that the participants change daily. Some kids bring their best, happiest and most receptive selves to class. Others bring family issues, learning disabilities and self-confidence problems that they simply can’t understand.
One given is always as true as 2 plus 2 or 185 divided by 5. Amid all the confusion and frustrations of being a twenty-first century child, my kids all know that I care. If they hurt themselves, I will always have the pain-eliminating bandaid. If they are bullied, the guilty party will be prosecuted. And if you simply want to talk about anything at all, I will always listen. Shalom.