Thursday, January 14, 2016

Stepping In or Just Visiting?

One of the most asked frequently asked questions is,
"How do I know when and how to step into children's play and experiences without taking over?"

This is not an easy task and requires a great deal of thought and practice. Teachers are hard wired to teach, lead, and direct. 

Here are a few suggestions.

When you are walking through the classroom does anyone appear to need your support? 
If not, is there an conversation going on between children that could be a spark for a new exploration? This would be a good opportunity for you to step in and probe a little to see what their thinking is. You must tread carefully because your presence may change their play.
Often times just standing close by is enough for the children to invite you in.
These are golden moments.

With time you learn to read cues, see all things in unison, and know how to ask good questions, key components in working in an inquiry based classroom.

A child's simple story, a teacher's attentiveness and the collaboration of peers led to the making of this backdrop. A perfect scenario to tie literacy and art together.


  1. Its so lovely... these girls certainly had a vision and followed it.

  2. How lovely!! I am so impressed to see this snow man art. The kiddos are looking so passionate in these photos. At some local Phoenix pre-k I am also going to enroll my son. I hope he’ll also learn such cute things over there.

  3. Let's hope for wonderful experiences for your son!

  4. I definitely notice a change in children's imaginary play when a teacher comes over. It's like the authenticity of their play goes away, and it becomes more of a performance. I notice this when we try to videotape our students as well. Thanks for the post!