I have my Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in education, but I am most proud of my recent education – learning to be Papa.
I clocked thousands of hours in the classroom, but over the past few years, the education I have been getting from my grandchildren has been an eye-opener. It’s also a challenge. After all, I’m an adult and a teacher, so shouldn’t I be showing them what to do?
When they are doing a puzzle, they may begin to struggle a bit, get frustrated. They look to me for just a little suggestion, and perhaps a quick bit of praise. I’ve learned it’s not about saying “Good job”. It’s encouraging the small achievements along the way, “Wow, you’ve got that whole corner finished already!” I get it now and we enjoy each other’s company and the reward comes when they turn to me and say, “I did it. All by myself!”
I am careful when to step in and I’m ready to quickly step back, so I don’t de-rail their mission. It’s like being a soccer coach on the sideline of the field. I can step onto the field during a short time to give some suggestions out, but then must back away to let the game to continue. After all, it’s their game to play… right?
My grandchildren have convinced me that what I am doing in Act 2 of my career as an educator matters. Kids, especially younger children, need an advocate, a spokesperson to say what they often cannot express, “Please let me learn this for myself, so I feel capable and proud.”
I’m re-energized! I’ve got a plan! I’m looking forward to helping kids in this way.
If you are also interested in how we help kids learn – so they can enjoy a lifetime of learning, check in, I’ll be here!
Angelo Truglio, PAPA, BS, MS