If there was one really valuable lesson that I have learnt whilst teaching or one piece of advice I could offer to anyone involved in educating children it would be to stop, step back and watch.
Teaching in the classroom is akin to being a parent, you are spinning many plates and there is always something you could be doing. Planning, a display to put up, marking, reports to write, researching ideas for a class assembly. It’s the same at home, dishes to wash, clothes to iron, paperwork to file. We work harder and harder at multitasking, barely finishing one job before we are onto the next and it means we can fail to see whats going on with our children.
Its sad but true that we place a lot of recognition on the beautifully presented classroom or home that is in pristine condition. We really admire those super parents/teachers. It’s all too easy to slip out to hang some washing whilst our children are busily absorbed in a task or perhaps in the classroom we may be tempted to get ahead with some marking if the class are are working quietly. But these are the times we should stop and watch, become less action orientated and really be present.
This is when we can observe the magic unfolding! Those first tentative steps, the scribble that evolves to a picture, the decoding of some environmental print, siblings helping each other.
Gosh it takes practice and is something I continue to work at, to stop and be present, but the rewards far outweigh those of a perfect home!