Yesterday afternoon I went on a workshop based on teaching Mathematics to children in the Early Years (kindergarten to grade 2). One of the quotes that had been put up on the wall resonated in me:
So often children begin to believe that they are incapable of doing Math – that it is too difficult for them and that they will never achieve in this subject. Once they believe that they are incapable, they close their minds to the various possibilities of problem solving. Our challenge as teachers is to make them believe in themselves and their abilities. And to encourage them to enjoy the journey of solving Math problems. Teaching kindergarten, I have not come across a child saying they cannot do Math – and yet as children get older, some of them begin to say “I am not good at Math”, “I cannot do this”, “Math is not the subject for me”.
What I love about the above quote is that it can be relevant to other things in a child’s life: writing a paragraph or essay, participating in gym or a team sport, learning another language. As teachers, and even parents, the best thing we can give any child is the confidence to try whatever task is set out in front of them; and to have the belief that they can grow from the experience. The experience is in the doing and the process – not so much a perfect end result.
I enjoy learning and I have learned that making mistakes is part of the process. It is my hope that each day I help children realise that it is in trying and in making mistakes that we learn. It is my hope that each day I help a child realise that they can learn anything.
Do you believe you can learn anything?
© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015