Tuesday, December 1, 2020

"No" Is An Okay Option






"No" is an okay option. I work really hard to encourage confidence in my online classes, and regularly give my students a chance to "show off" their ninja skills to everyone in class. Before I give this opportunity (which happens once or twice per 30 minute class), I ALWAYS say, "when I come to your camera, if you don't want to share, you can shake your head 'no' or even try using your words to say, 'no thank you'. Either is a completely fine option." My hope is that WHEREVER a child is at in their development, that they will be able to grow in their own way...and that might look different from child to child. 

Today, a student was hesitant. He ran off camera and I hear mom tell him, "just say 'no thank you'". As the boy comes back on screen, I see another child sit closer to the camera and say to the first boy, "no is an okay option." The first boy says, "no thank you", I say "okay", and we move on.

"No" is an okay option. All children should know this. All adults should honor this. Confidence grows at different levels and rates. Encourage, yes, but always allow children to grow at their own pace and as they are ready.

The picture above is of a review from the parent of the child who used his words today to say, "no thank you" when he wasn't quite ready to show off his ninja moves to the class. It reminded me how the little things make the biggest differences. I want ALL children to be able to participate in my classes, whether they are outgoing, shy, nervous, or excited. They should all feel welcome and encouraged.

Today, I realized the importance of this little mantra I tell my students each week. I hope that you will also see its significance as you interact with and teach children, as well!


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