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!