One of my first experiences with teaching was when I was a teenager working for the summer as a lifeguard. I was assigned to teach swim lessons and had to figure out how to teach young children to float. Floating is an interest "skill" to teach as it is not really a "skill" at all because a child will pretty much naturally float as soon as they become comfortable in the water. It was the first time I came face to face with the importance of environment and approach when teaching. I had to set up an environment where the child felt safe and encouraged and then suddenly they were floating! Fear and negativity had no place in the world of learning to swim.
I've carried this lesson with me through my years of teaching and have been amazed over and over again what students can accomplish when you assume competence and ensure feelings of belonging, love and aonfidence.
This week I stumbled upon the website "The Fun Theory" and it reminded me again of how important what we do as educators in regards to setting up our classrooms and learning activities is. I'm posting one of my favorite videos from this site. There are many more worth checking out :).