Monday, October 31, 2011
Greatest Sign of Success
"Do you need help with the straps?" I ask.
"No." She reaches behind trying to grab the straps to fasten around her.
"If you need help, tell me," I say. I move back to my task.
After a few tries, she gets the elusive strap and pulls it around her waist, sticking the Velcro to the other strap's end. She pulls out a brush and begins to paint broad-stroked letters.
Yesterday I posted this Maria Montessori quote on the Brick by Brick Facebook page: "The greatest sign of a success for a teacher...is to be able to say, 'The children are now working as if I did not exist.'"
I am always pleased when I see kids doing things on their own - using their own ideas, taking care of their own needs, resolving their own conflicts. They are growing older and gaining more skills. They have mastered the routines and general flow of our room. They are becoming more successful.
I like to see the kids working "as if I did not exist." But I still move around and observe. I comment and question. Sometimes I even suggest. Or just play as they include me.
Because sometimes the kids work as if I do exist. Yesterday the same independent girl above called out to me. "Mr. Scott, play this game with me." She repeated it until I was able to join her in the matching game. She even helped me find a couple of matches.
Success as a teacher is seeing kids work as if I don't exist. And seeing them include me as a friend.