Week 2 in an Elementary classroom, and I had a massive smack to my conscience today: Where you are teaching inquisitive minds to continue inquiring, the Teacher does not know everything.
I followed my Supervising Teacher around today and made a point to observe all interactions. So many times today I would have said to a child “Actually, the answer is _____”, but my ST instead would say “That’s an interesting thought, why don’t we research that?” The first time I heard her say that, I will openly admit I thought “She must not really know the answer! AHA! But I do!” I even more than once went to open my mouth to chip in. Suddenly, like a frog to the face it jumped into my head “She DOES know! She’s just showing them that she is not the only resource available!”
Sounds like a minor epiphany really, but it was truly a humbling moment. In the Casa aged classroom, the Teacher is the authority and all-knowing-being. We know how all materials work, forward and backwards. We have an endless bag of tricks for working with tots, tantrums, and tears. The children at this age need that stability in their life. They need direct answers as soon as possible. Elementary aged children are learning that no-one person holds all answers. Research and reflection are what guides most orders of life! How better to teach them this, than to let them research and reflect on their pressing questions?! Truly these lessons learned through their own reading and experimentation will stick with the child much more, than words spoken quickly in answer to an inquiry.
These little interactions between my ST and the students were very eye-opening to me today. Not only did I see that I need a bit more of an Ego check, but I learned a valuable lesson that I know will stick with me in the years to come.