My classroom is set up so that children learn to share. Pencils, erasers, rulers and glue sticks are stored at the writing centre, as are scissors and markers. At the beginning of the year, I am constantly reminding the children to share with those at their table. Now, however, they are used to not having their own and have learned to wait for their turn to use the grey marker, or even the glue stick.
I believe that sharing is an important skill for the children to learn. Even as an adult, I have had to share. I share a room with my husband, a home with my family, resources with fellow teachers. As a child I was taught to share and that skill has enabled me to share with others in my adult life.
Sharing is not easy for everyone. Many children come into school (especially those with no siblings) with no understanding of what it means to share. The teacher guides the young one gently into the understanding and skill set of taking turns and letting others use what they want. Teaching sharing is not easy and often leads to crying and a child’s disappointment. And yet those who share have friends because these children are able to collaborate with others.
Sharing refers not only to physical things such as a toy, markers, or a glue stick. Sharing refers as well to ideas. Older children are expected to learn how to share ideas; and adults are expected to know this skill. And yet I have found that many adults hug their thoughts to themselves and are not willing to share their ideas and methods. The result? A lack of collaboration and a mockery of the word “teamwork”.
Each day that I help children learn how to share, I hope that I am helping them to become adults that share. I believe that if adults share, great things can be done.
What is your experience of sharing as an adult?
© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016
(This post was inspired by the Five Minute Friday prompt: share)