Quotes from a 3rd Grade Class: help


Harley Classe

In this weekly column, senior Harley Classe talks about her experiences as a third grade teacher.

Harley Classe, Editor-In-Chief

“I can’t get this open. Can you help me please?”

This is the phrase that came from the mouth of one of my second graders at the beginning of snack time.

The girl was trying to open one of those plastic snack containers that had the tough snaps and inner rubber seal, so understandably, she was having a tough time.

I happened to walk right by her, so rather than continuing to try and open the container herself, she turned and asked for my help. Right as she reached out her hands with the container, the lid proceeded to pop off, and she no longer needed my help.

Help is a tricky thing with little kids. You do not want them to struggle so long on their own that they eventually give up and feel incapable of doing hard things, but you also do not want to immediately do everything for them and hope they one day become self-sufficient.

Teaching is a lot like opening a snack. You have to find the right balance between providing enough tools for the students to be successful and learning when to let go of the students’ hands a little bit.

After realizing that the girl had opened her container all by herself, we had a small celebration moment, and then she went and got right back to work.

While at first, she was struggling, ultimately, she worked through it and realized that she really could do it on her own.

Although it is not always easy to just sit and watch your kids struggle, sometimes, it is more rewarding in the end to let them figure it out on their own. That’s just how it is.