It hasn’t passed my notice that most of my fellow bloggers on the weekly CARNIVAL OF EDUCATION (at the Education Wonks site) are high school or college level educators. (Nothin’ gets by me!). I often wondered how my perspective as an early primary teacher of emotionally disabled little ones can illuminate the higher-ed discussion so prominent in the edusphere. But my contribution this week to the dilemma faced by the math teacher over at A DIFFERENCE seemed to validate my presence and participation.
Mr. K the math teacher wrote:
“As I watched her from a distance I could tell she was getting frustrated. I went over to her, crouched down so that we could talk at eye level, and asked: "Are you having trouble with that one?" She said yes. I started asking her some leading questions to help her find her way through the problem when I got this creeping feeling that she was getting tense and anxious. I thought she was just frustrated; anxious about not being able to solve the problem. I don't know what it was, but that wasn't it. I asked her if she wanted me to help her with the problem or if she'd would prefer that I just go away. She said she'd prefer if I just went away.
Now I suppose she might have been uncomfortable that I was physically too close to her. Maybe she was intimidated by my crouching down to talk to her at eye level. I don't know. Whatever it was, it wasn't the math. How am I supposed to help a student learn who gets flustered by my standing near them and talking to them? How can I give a stuggling student the one-on-one attention they very much need (and which I can rarely give) without standing next to them? How does a struggling student learn when the simple proximity of their teacher makes them nervous?”
Now, all my ED colleagues know what’s coming next! Check out my response and Mr. K’s appreciative response back HERE.