Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Laura and her cup of tea

Laura and her cup of tea!

Laura Henry an early childhood expert from London is spending some time with our core team to strengthen our curriculum and assessment practices at Podar Jumbo Kids. Laura likes her tea and she likes her tea to be just right. For the first few times when she was served tea Laura politely sipped it but was not satisfied. She first gave instructions to the peon about how she wanted her tea to be made, ‘less milk please’, ‘more water please’, ‘no sugar please’. Laura’s tea was still not the way she wanted it. So Laura asked her way to the kitchen and then she demonstrated to the cook exactly how she wanted her tea to be made and soon Laura was sipping her cup of tea just as she liked it.

Laura’s cup of tea is very important, as this episode teaches us about the teaching-learning process, be it in adults or children. It starts with verbal cues and then physical cues. Whereas as teachers and parents we tend to do things for kids, we fail to give clear instructions, we never break it down into steps and then we do not demonstrate how it should be done, instead we go straight to doing it for them and thus never giving them the opportunity to be immersed in the task, the opportunity to experience the ‘aha’ moment and the opportunity to nurture their self esteem. No wonder then children do not like to learn from adults but would rather learn from friends and through play.

What Laura did is called ‘coaching’, so essential in the teaching-learning process. Coaching classes have become the bane of our existence today because the coaching they offer is not what true coaching is about. Coaching if not done correctly can become drill and training but coaching in the real sense of the word is about educating and demonstrating.

Maria Montessori talked about the 5 steps of learning, they start with children observing a demonstration, so ‘I see what and how you do and then I learn’. A good mentor, a good teacher and an involved parent understand the importance of this step. Skipping this step can lead to a host of stress related issues like children not understanding, teacher/parent having to repeat the instruction multiple times, getting angry, child getting frustrated and most importantly child feeling a sense of failure which can impact both brain development (as negative experiences can destroy brain connections) and emotional development as sense of worth is diminished leading to lack of confidence.

Coaching or demonstration in the Montessori Methodseeks to “free a child to learn through his own effort”. The guiding principles of the method are liberty for the child complemented by organization of the work by an adult. This then leads to the next step in the child’s learning process that of ‘participation’. The child now has the confidence and interest in trying out the activity, being actively engaged in the activity.

Coaching is not a one time activity. If Laura wants to perfect her cup of tea then she may go back to the kitchen and as the cook now makes the cup of tea may guide or instruct the cook by asking relevant questions or giving relevant pointers. Similarly as the child practises the new activity the teacher/parent can guide during the practise stage, which is the third stage of learning.

If these three stages are handled well by the teacher/parent then the most important stage will be that of the ‘eureka moment’, the ‘aha’ moment when the child experiences success coupled with a feeling of ‘I did it’. This stage is the most important stage of learning and how the first three stages are handled by the adult will define if every child experiences this stage. If the adult drones, shouts, gets frustrated during the first three stages then the child will not experience the ‘aha’ moment and will instead do the activity out of fear and stress. Stress as we are aware leads to diminshed brain activity leading to knowledge not getting converted to long term memory thus leading to this child forgetting how to do the activity and the adult having to teach, remind again and again.
If Laura had shouted at the cook or criticised his efforts then the cook would not like to make tea for Laura again. But the cook experienced the ‘aha’ moment and Laura is happy with her tea. The cook is ‘performing’ the task well, and ‘performance’ is the last step of learning and is infact the goal.

Now when Laura visits us again the cook will not have to be taught how Laura likes her tea, because the cook learned to make the tea by being coached and is now performing to perfection. So have a cup of tea today. Don’t know how to make it? Find a coach, find a mentor and experience your ‘aha’ moment!







32 comments:

Dipti Bali said...

As always an article which serves as a ready guide. The instance of tea making is wonderfully related to child's learning procedures..thereby giving the message of steps to be taken care while taking care of a child. Relating theory to practical life makes the handling of situations very easy and directs towards the right direction.

Jumbo Kids Kharghar said...

Thank you Ma'am for this beautiful article.It will be really helpful for my teachers.As sometime teachers don't let the children do the activities independently, such as art, origami work etc. They think children need to be handhold.This article will clear the meaning of 'coaching' or 'how to coach'.

Laura Henry said...

Thank you Swati, for writing this blog. The timing is great as we discussed leadership and how senior staff coach heads and teachers. More importantly, that we all have a different way of learning.

Delfena Mitchell said...

Great. Article Swaiti, I love that it is so practical that the concept is readily understood. Delfena from Belize.

Uma Nagdeo said...

Thank you ma'am for one more important article by following the correct and appropriate steps the teaching learning process will be enjoyable experience for kids.

Sonali Karmakar said...

Thank you ma'am for sharing another important article. It is a great learning for all of us.

Manju Joshi said...

Things are made very tedious to learn by us for kids. But if we follow the way I learned today by this blog how to guide others could make things simple. It was really sipping knowledge to the way every reader likes... Thank you so much Ma'am.

Jumbo Kids Akola said...

Thank you so much Ma'am, for such a wonderful blog.

Pritijayant said...

Thank you so much ma`am for this wonderful article....as always. So simple example of our life, through this article teaches us how the teacher can reach to the child`s mind and become a successful coach. Both can experience the wonderful feeling of eureka moment by this article.

Snehal Pjk said...

Laura & her cup of tea taught us about the teaching-learning process and also very important to remember 5 steps of Maria Montessori - Observes demonstration ,Participating stage ,Practice ,Eureka moment & Performance all these 5 steps play a very crucial role but practically we as a parent or teacher skip the steps & reach to final stage and then frustrate and blame our kids . This article was very simple to make us understand how to reach the ‘aha’ moment . I will always remember it ..

Ankita Suchak said...

Thank You ma`am for one more important article.It is very easily explained the steps to be followed while teaching process.It will help me and my teachers to become a good coach.

Amravati Pjk said...

Thank you Ma'am for guiding regarding 5-steps learning through Maria Montessori theory and by giving day to day life example through this article"Laura and her cup of tea"
Really it will be helpful to me and my teachers .

nagpur jumbo kid said...

Dear mam , Its really amazing to learn so many things from your Blog.Today I have learned How to teach Step by step .Its not only for Kids but even for Teachers ,Coordinator.But Mam , I feel even cook also has seeking spirit to learn. Some times when I loose my patience ,then I console myself by saying 'YOU CANT SEND A DUCK TO EAGLE SCHOOL 'but now on words I will keep in Mind lesson of Laura and her cup of tea ' Thanks for sharing wonderful things !

PJK Koradi said...

It’s really a proud moment for all those who are a part of a TEAM - Podar Jubo Kids and having an enthusiastic coach like you; who always inspires us, motivates us and of course reminds us by such a real life inspirational article. It happens many a time that as an educationist we know all these things but forget to apply in real life. Laura & her cup of tea reminds us about the teaching-learning process and also very important to remember 5 steps of Maria Montessori - Observes demonstration ,Participating stage ,Practice ,Eureka moment & Performance. If honestly we use these 5 steps then nobody stops us and our kids to reach that “Eureka” moment and it will become an enjoyable experience for both teacher and students. Thank you so much ma'am for sharing wonderful article.

Jumbo Kids, Chakan said...

We as a parent or a teacher need to understand that why we blame children for not performing better.It is very true that we fail to give clear instructions.We do not demonstrate for the children.This episode of Ms.Laura and her cup of tea taught us about the teaching-learning process which as a parent and a teacher we need to follow.

Jumbo kids Chakan II said...

Laura & her cup of tea taught us about the teaching-learning process and also the 5 important steps of Maria Montessori - Observing the demonstration, participation, practice, Eureka moment & performance. The article was wonderful which help us to understand that as a parent or as a teacher we should always let the child do his work or activity independently and if he is stuck some where proper coaching is to be given. I will already remember this article.

Aparna PJK Chinchwad-2 said...

Thank you Ma'am for sharing the cup of tea with us. I am very proud to be a member of the PODAR Team and having a stimulating coach LIKE YOU. This article reminds us that when clear instructions are given to a child or even an adult, by being relaxed, at peace with yourself, emotionally neutral, loose and free- floating, giving independence to others to do the activity, we will achieve successful performance in everything and will reach the" Eureka" moment.
"

Megha Raje Bhosale said...

The article again points to the wrong practice of teaching or coaching the children .The teachers/parents should let the children do the activities on their own and should guide/coach them only if they are wrong , then only they will achieve their Eureka moment .

shilpa said...

Best article good guidance to all how to maintain role and keep responsibility in steps to give good learning .

Bhosari Pjk said...

Thank you ma'am, for this wonderful article, which shows us that we should give a good guidance to our kids, and let them explore themselves independently.

jayshree shah said...

What a wonderful way to convey the importance of coaching its so simple way and can be readily accepted once we go through article.

Mentor Sarina said...

Thank you for a great learning...this article clearly explains the right steps that any adult can take to impart the right knowledge to a child or anyone who is associated to training ...without any communication gap as every individual has a different perception and interpretation to the teaching

Uma Wagh PJK Jalgaon said...

Ma'am learnt alot with this article thank you for sharing.

Podar Jumbo Kids, kalyan said...

Thank you Ma'am for the wonderful article its an eye opener for every adult.

kamal said...

Very informative article "Laura and her cup of tea" which teaches us that its very important as teachers, as parents and adults to give clear instructions step by step which will give them the opportunity to nuture their self-esteem. We could follow the 5 steps of learning by Maria Montessori.

Suman Khandelwal PJK Gondia said...

Thank you mam for sharing such a nice article with all of us.I had shared this articles with my teachers and explain the 5 steps of Maria Montessori - Observes demonstration ,Participating stage ,Practice ,Eureka moment & Performance.Its really works and motivate us in dealing with kids and parents.

Jumbo Kids Akola said...

Always there is a learning in your every article. Thank you Ma'am.

Veena Sangli said...

Laura and her cup of tea taught us about the teaching learning process.It remind us about 5 steps of Maria Montessori theory.Which will help me and my teacher's too.

Indu Chanda said...

A must read for all parents and teachers. Very true how one coaches directly leads to how much the other learns. After all we all have a different way of learning.

Pjk Bengaluru CBSE said...

Demonstrations along with explanation followed by clear instructions can lead to better output is beautifully explained as an easy cup of tea--thank you Madam--Chitra

pjkparbhani said...

Teaching learning process starts with verbal cues and then physical cues. In a very simple way I have got the meaning of 'coach' after reading this article. It is fact that coaching is very essential in teaching learning process. Earlier we had never thought about Eureka Moment but after reading this blog we have experienced it! Our level two children when they had experienced their first Origami art in class, literally they have jumped high! They had got their and we had got our 'Eureka Moment'!!

PJK Vadgaonsheri 2 said...

This example is really helpful in devloping that understanding how kids can learn.Today the real meaning of coaching is clear to me,it is not just about training and drill ways but about educating and demonstrating and also giving liberty to participate and perform to perfection.Thank you for sharing such a beautiful blog with us.We will practice the same in classroom with the kids to devlop better learning.