Posts Tagged ‘teaching burdens’

Good news for teachers, parents and other leaders: “You don’t have to do it all alone . . . “

Parents and teachers often feel as if their parenting and teaching burdens are so heavy, they cannot carry them.

They are right!

There are many sources of help. The problem is that they are not always readily within reach logistically (not always easy to organize or coordinate) or financially (not always easy to afford or pay for).

One extremely valuable resource is immediately at hand, and affordable! The children and students themselves! Right there. Right in front of you, both literally and figuratively.

Using this immediately-at-hand resource may mean changing the way you have tried to carry your load in the past. You can’t do it all alone, so instead of trying to do that impossible task alone, you change your orientation to that of sharing the burden with the very people who are causing the burden in the first place.

This means a distinct change in the type of task upon which to focus.

Here is a ludicrously simple example. If the child/student cannot tie his/her shoelaces, you can continue to tie them “forever” or you can change your task from shoelace tying to that of teaching shoelace tying. Of course teaching the child/student how to tie his/her own shoe laces will take more time and energy than simply doing it yourself. Of course. Except that the teaching will usually result in there being an end to  your tying of shoelaces.

Parents and teachers may object that not all tasks are teachable to children/students. Some tasks are non-transferable. This is true.

The principle remains the same however, if you are to have help with your burdens of parenting and teaching.

Instead of expending all your energy doing all the tasks yourself, expend some energy thinking about which tasks are sharable and in what ways.

For example, even little children and those in grade one at school are capable of taking on more than we would ever think if we are aiming in that direction. And a child with a distinct stewardship in the home or classroom will not only remove some of the burden on the parent or teacher, s/he will take pride of ownership and develop self-responsibility more readily in the present and the future, thus gradually removing more and more of the burden of parenting and teaching as time goes on.

Try it. You might be surprised what children and students can do, given the opportunity to learn how.

I have seen examples of cooperative homes and cooperative classrooms in which older children (or even just same-age students) are able to take on sharing/teaching tasks, usually in groups of two or three. Larger groupings may not result in the same efficiencies.

Doc Meek, Wednesday,  June 2, 2010

At Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA; not at South Jordan, Utah, USA

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