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Thursday, May 3, 2012

The 7 Deadly Sins of carers

Quite a while ago, I wrote a post about the 7 deadly sins of childcare parenting, from the point of view of carers. It was the product of extreme frustration!

Today I'm feeling frustrated too, but it's not with the parents. The boot's on the other foot today- I'm reflecting on some of the blatant errors I've seen over and over again from carers.

So here's the balancing post. Here are some things that carers commonly get wrong.

1. Different strokes for different folks, part (a)

Oh my, this makes me mad. Some carers seem to think that they are somehow superior to the children they're caring for, and so don't need to observe the same behavioural boundaries.

So we get the carers who tell the children to wash their hands before meals, but don't wash hands themselves (and then serve up without so much as a glove on, or stick their hand into the fruit plate to grab a grape while telling the kids to USE THE TONGS!). We get the carers who tell the children to be quiet by shouting at them. We get the carers who insist the children say please and thank you, but won't do the same themselves- neither to their colleagues, nor to the children. I could go on and on with examples here, and sadly it's always the same people exhibiting these blatantly non-constructive behaviours.

What this behaviour says to me is that this carer feels very insecure. Childcare isn't a power game. Carers are already bigger and louder and more powerful than children. Someone who gets their kicks from emphasising the power ratio has a personality problem that needs to be addressed.

Such carers are also demonstrating their ignorance of basic ECE principles. Children learn through modelling, not through being told. You don't lessen your influence over the children by doing the same things yourself that you want them to do- you increase your influence.

2. Different strokes for different folks, part (b)

Then there are the carers who treat children differently from each other based not on the child's needs, but on some hierarchy of their own devising.

The director's daughter, for example, is allowed special privileges so she'll 'like' that carer and report back favourably. A personal friend's children get more time and more attention, and the parent who's a friend gets more feedback, as a mark of friendship. A child with special needs (including being gifted) is labelled as 'difficult' and given less affection, more unsympathetic direction- because that saves the carer from having to wrestle with the real dilemmas involved.

A carer who discriminates like this isn't winning anyone's respect. Favoured children don't respect a carer who they can manipulate; they become even more difficult for everyone to manage, as they test how far they can go. Needy children who are denied their fair share of the attention pie will become more demanding, or will withdraw (which is in itself more demanding, as barriers can be hard to break down once erected).

This carer makes life harder for everyone around them.

3. Pay me to think

Gotta love the carer who never puts a moment's thought into what they're going to do while they're at work. It's all on the run, because you know, the wages are so low that I'm not going to spend My Time thinking about work. So on arrival out come the same old toys, out come the same old paints, a few books get chucked on the shelves. (Group time? Oh, I'll work that out when I get there. I'll just grab a book I've never seen in my life before and get half the words and all the expression wrong as I read it, because I'm not even listening to myself, let alone thinking about it as education.)

They're the first to complain that the children, who've had no experience whatsoever of structure or routine, won't do what they're told. They're the first to complain and blame the children when boredom sets in, when group time becomes diabolical with children swinging from the rafters instead of sitting on the mat listening, when the paperwork comes due and no thinking or planning has been done at all. Damn this EYLF, damn this programming! Damn these children!

They're the first to complain that they get no job satisfaction.

The irony is that the more you put into it, the easier it gets. The longer you've been planning your work, the less time it takes to plan your work. The more experiences you plan, the bigger your personal library of ideas for each demographic of children. The easier it gets, the more fun it is, till you get to the point where you actually realise what a privilege it is to be working with children every day.

It ONLY gets easier if you put in the effort.

Honestly, if your heart isn't in it enough to consider the kids' needs and interests and actually enjoy planning the day's stimuli and experiences, you really do need to find another career.

4. Children? What children?

How I love the carer who spends the whole day talking to the other carers over the children's heads. (I've even seen one who does it when she's supposed to be taking group time, while all the kids sit politely on the mat waiting in silence. Ha ha. Or not. And then she has the hide to yell at them?!)

That's also the carer who gossips to one parent for half an hour in the yard, completely ignoring her supervision duties. Honey, I really don't want to know where you got your spray tan, and probably neither does Mrs Brown. And while you're yaddering on about nothing, who's watching the children?

I'm even more fond of the one who talks to the other carers about the children, over their heads. News flash: children are not deaf. Children have feelings too. STOP IT.

5. Dinosaur syndrome

Then there's the archaeological carer. Her knowledge base is firmly rooted in the past- in her own parenting methods, her own childhood experiences, her long-outdated education. His resistance to change, including professional development, is astounding; it's his way or the highway. Research evidence is rejected with a sarcastic laugh and a finely-tuned and original riposte such as "what that child needs is a paddle on the backside- it never did me any harm" or "children aren't taught any manners / respect / discipline these days".

When you stop learning, you don't stand still at the top of the heap. You don't get to a point in your education where you can just stay sitting on top of some pedestal and lording it over everyone. When you stop learning, your knowledge starts to crumble, because life is dynamic. Society is dynamic. You have to keep moving and keep learning and keep improving, or you end up extinct. If you want to be extinct, please get out of my way, go lie in the mud and wait to be turned into a fossil. In fact I may just provide the seismic event to help you along your way.

6. It's okay. It's not okay. It's okay. It's not okay.

A little consistency goes a long way in childcare.

How about this example? A carer talks about nutrition, tells the children how cake is a 'sometimes' food, stresses that it rots your teeth and makes you fat.

Then the giant cupcakes come out at morning tea because it's someone's birthday. Everybody's eyes light up. No reference whatsoever is made to the food pyramid. The kids get an individual cupcake each that's bigger than their head because that's how the cake was presented and nobody on staff has ever heard of a knife, and the carer scoffs three herself while talking loudly to the other carers about how she loves cake and always eats too much of it. The others reassure her that this is perfectly normal, they're the same... scoffing another cake each themselves...

Oh dear. Please, can we be just a little bit holistic about things? Can we not look at what we teach in the 'educational' pigeonhole as being completely separate from how we behave the rest of the day? Don't you know the kids are watching you and listening to you?

7. Gotta prove I'm smarter than you

Last but not least is the carer who just can't wait to show that she or he knows something the child doesn't. Never mind that children learn by doing, not by being told; this carer's far too impatient and full of ego to let kids figure things out for themselves, to let them struggle with a problem, to support instead of doing it for them.

This is the carer who puts their hand on the child's hand to 'help' them fit that pesky wooden jigsaw piece into the hole, then 'helps' them finish it by putting in half-a-dozen more pieces themselves. "Oh look, it's finished!" (You want me to clap?)

This is the carer who refuses to let a child climb into the lowest fork of a tree, barely six inches off the ground. "You'll fall and hurt yourself." (Meaningless. And almost certainly wrong, if you'd only butt out and stop making me doubt myself.)

This is the carer who tells the group of boys that their car ramp will fall down, butts in and makes a better one for them. (You want me to clap?)

There's no learning happening in these interactions. The carer hasn't put themselves in the child's shoes. Doing things for someone as a means of 'helping' is an adult construct; nine times out of ten, these children neither want nor need help, though they often enjoy the company. Giving predictive advice ("you'll fall", "that ramp will break") is an adult construct; these children need to find out these things for themselves in order to learn.

No, when a person who's been educated in child development does this sort of thing, it's often all about the carer feeling superior because they're the leader. They're the one doing the showing how. (You sure you don't want me to clap? I can clap if you like...)

It's more than a little pathetic.

Well, that feels better now I've got that off my chest! Do you recognise some of these people? Do you recognise yourself, even? I've been guilty of some of these sins along the way, though I've learnt better these days. (I'll admit to having had to work my way through 5, 6 and 7- and 7 has been the hardest habit to break.)

What other 'sins' can you add to my list?


  1. Yes, yes, yes! I recognise all these sins from my time in child care (and since in my current work where as you know I go to many child care centres).

    And yes, I'm honest enough to admit that I've been guilty of at least some of them myself in my work. The biggest problem for me was a variant of #7; specifically learning to talk less, and listen more. To explain less and allow space for the child to work things out for themselves. To provide only as much help as was absolutely necessary and not a skerrick more. That was HARD for me, really hard. Now I pride myself on this area, but I was AWFUL at it at first.

    And I've certainly also been guilty of #3. "He who fails to plan, plans to fail". I thought (especially when I was just starting out in child care) that I was being creative, and responding to children's interests, and free-wheeling, and going with the flow (all good things in their place), but often the actual result was: "I have no idea what I should be doing right now so I'm just going to wing it". I soon learned that unless you have a damn good plan and structures in place all those good creative flexible things don't work properly. It's just a mess and children NEED structure and predictability just as much as they need freedom and spontaneity.

    Well said as usual, Aunt Annie!

    1. Thanks, Alec.

      Number 7 has been really, really hard for me. I've always had a tendency to go too fast (which is fine for gifted kids like my own son, but not for the majority) and to be in a hurry to finish things and want them perfect. Giving up perfection has been particularly hard.

      Number 3, on the other hand- teach high school music and you realise very fast that 'winging it' is not an option, especially when you're new at it. Even when you have a mile of experience and can walk in to the room feeling like you can cope with anything off the cuff, you always need a back-up plan. In EC I am invariably overprepared and then I can just divert or adjust according to the kids' interests. Planning is the essence of 'discipline' (or, if you will, 'respect') because it gives you confidence- the kids feel that at once.

  2. Are you sure you didn't post this about me? I'm sure I see snippets of myself from time to time in there. But who of us are perfect? We are all human and we all make mistakes. Hell, I've made some doozies as you well know. What we all should be diing though is learning from those mistakes and if I am being truly honest, it's best if we identify them ourselves. If we are being honest in our professional reflection there is no reason why we wouldn't recognise times when our practice has fallen a little short of where it could've been. One day I hope to be able to put a tick (or cross depending on your perspective) against all those points. Until then though I'll just keep plodding along as best as I can.

    By the way Annie, I hope you feel better with that big chip off your shoulder.

    1. Ah, Greg, if only all of us were as reflective and honest as you suggest! Sadly it's the failure of some people to reflect and change over time that causes me so much frustration. These aren't isolated instances or snapshots; they're observations of the same people over a considerable time. Some of them I've actually tried to enlighten myself when I was in a leadership position- through setting an example, or through quiet diplomatic discussion- with no success whatsoever.

      Yes, none of us is perfect, but some of us are trying harder than others. Like you. I doubt very much that you are a repeat offender on any of these points! All of us slip up now and then, but as you say, some of us are honest enough to look in the mirror and say "Well, that was pretty regrettable". And do something about it.

  3. Thanks, Annie! This is a great list of things to think about. I have a tendency to rant about some of these, too.

    I think that all of us have the potential to move into some of these areas, my biggest "fear" is number 5. I don't want to ever be "that teacher" that thinks I have arrived and have everything in order and just need to do the same thing over and over. I want to keep learning and growing. Being online has really helped me in this area. So many blogs help me think of new ideas and evaluate what I'm doing to make it better.

    I so appreciate your challenge for me to think about what I'm doing (or not doing!).

    1. Thanks, Scott. I keep telling this tale but it's worth another time for anyone reading who hasn't heard it: when I was at teaching college, I remember a lecturer saying to us, "After 20 years in the game, there are two types of teacher. There's the one who's had 20 years' experience, and there's the one who's had one year's experience 20 times." That thought has stuck with me!!

  4. Oh my I pulled my child out of a center where the teacher Miss Acacia who was very guilty of 2. definitely one with a chip on her shoulder if she knew that the family was affluent. I tried to pity her as a single mom of three children herself making minimim wage, but I could only tolerate so much of her tormenting my child.

    1. I'm sorry you had to go through that, Anon. It's not fair on the children at all- they have no control over their parents' social or financial demographic. I'm glad you worked out what was happening and removed your child.

  5. This is truly a great read for me!! I love the quality information and news your blog provides Smile I have you bookmarked to show this to all!Thanks.

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    1. Thanks for that feedback, Addison. Much appreciated!

  6. What a negative page, nothing but criticism and condemnation from one who obviously feels superior to others. Hate this page. Be positive and productive or don't speak..

    1. It's very easy to attack and be dismissive behind the cloak of anonymity. Why not comment as yourself if you feel so strongly so you can then defend your views? Obviously you either didn't read the entire post or didn't comprehend its content. Aunt Annie said she had been guilty of some of them herself. It's identifying that you & others do these things and taking action to move beyond them that she is challenging us to do. Get a life if you have nothing better to do than to attack the good and honest work of others.

    2. Thanks Males in EC. I'm glad it was clear to you at least by the end of the post that I was targetting myself as much as others.

  7. And I quote: "I've been guilty of some of these sins along the way, though I've learnt better these days. (I'll admit to having had to work my way through 5, 6 and 7- and 7 has been the hardest habit to break.)" Not so superior, Anon.

    And honestly, if you've never seen these things and been frustrated by them, you obviously don't work in the industry, or maybe you're in denial because you don't actually understand child development (or maybe you're angry because you recognise some of your own practices). If you're in a leadership position and you've never tried to deal with these failings kindly face-to-face and had some form of slap in the face for the reply, well, lucky you.

    And I believe that writing these things down in a public forum where people who do work in the industry can read them, think about them and discuss them in the comments is extremely positive and productive. It's called reflective practice. I'm not naming names. I'm trying to make people think about the way they do things. This is how we achieve continuous improvement. What are you contributing to the improvement of our practices, other than your own (anonymous) personal criticism of me?

  8. Self-reflection is so very important in teaching. Posts like this help work towards being positive and productive. Stop and think, then act. Thank you, Aunt Annie.

    1. Thanks for the affirmation, Lesley. I agree 100%.

  9. Anonymous - If you don't like what you are reading - delete yourself! It's funny how when some people speak with honesty it is deemed negative. I think it's refreshing when someone speaks openly and addresses the issues which should be brought to the forefront! These issues are discussed in ECE conferences and classrooms - why because they are happening and need to be 'fixed'. Thanks Aunt annie for opening the eyes of those who have them closed! And yes we are all guilty of some aspect of these issues!

    1. So true, Leeanne. People get very threatened by honesty. Thank you for your thoughts.

  10. Aunt Annie this is a brilliant post (as always). You have highlighted many of the concerns that make my stomach churn when observing the actions of some of my fellow educators! I just hope that people are able to read this and critically reflect on their own interactions with children. I think if on reading this post someone (not looking at anyone in particular, oh brave 'Anonymous' one)finds it negative or offensive, then just perhaps it hits a little too close to home for their liking! If the shoe fits wear it I say, and you 'Anonymous' one, are objecting too loudly!

    "...please get out of my way, go lie in the mud and wait to be turned into a fossil". Oh AA, I had to laugh out loud! :))))))

  11. Oh I am so guilty of no. 7 (as a mother, not a childcare professional). I find myself doing it and flinch each time. It's an impulse, I get so impatient doing the same puzzle for the 50th time and really don't like things not to be 'right' when making them.

    Unfortunately my 2 year old has learnt that mummy will do it 'right' and will now insist that I help/take over when she isn't getting there fast and perfect enough.

    Am just going to have to learn to take a deep breath and step back.

    1. Anna, I think it's common with us gifted types! We like things to be just so... and stepping back is really hard. Good on you for identifying yourself and wanting to change things.

  12. Dear Aunt Annie:

    I know I have a lot of trouble with number 7. I have been thinking about it and thought to ask some advice - how do you handle balancing frustration and scaffolding success with allowing children their own room to succeed by working through their own thoughts?

    I think that some of my own entanglement with this is from working in Primary schools, where if you don't intensive, relentlessly "scaffold success" (read: almost pound into children what it is told to you that have to have learnt by the end of the year), then you are regarded as a subpar teacher. One of the reasons I left that field, very early. :/

    However, two memories are called to mind when I think of this topic, which might illustrate my thinking and allow some space for more useful advice.

    The first was one in a 0-2 room with a 2 and a half year old who was struggling with a puzzle. She kept moving the piece around and around the board - pausing for a long time where it did indeed fit, but not wiggling it/putting it in precisely enough to succeed.

    I am in about three mind about this: was she at the developmental stage to be working on puzzles that have a picture inlaid into the hole so that she knows where to put it, and so work on her fine motor ability to fit the piece in where she thinks it goes? But children are naturally going to sometimes pick tasks that are beyond them. So should I have left her not to succeed and encouraged her to use the in-laid picture puzzles?

    Should I have wait until she shows frustration and then began suggesting: "Which one do you think it *looks* like it goes in?" ... "I think it's that one too! If I were you, I would try wriggling it and turning it around until it goes in."

    If she doesn't show frustration, but simply gives up to try another piece, should I wait until the whole scene replays itself? If she doesn't show frustration and then stands to leave, should I try to re-engage her with success-building (success-forcing?) dialogue? It probably wouldn't work! I find when children stand up, they are often pretty "done" and don't want to be re-engaged. :)

    I suppose - at what point should I interceed?

    I was thinking of another circumstance where a 5 year old boy was trying to bury a plastic chair in the sandpit. *I* knew that he would have to build up a 'backlog' of sand behind the chair so that the pile of sand would go 'over' the chair (if you understand what I'm describing) - you'd have to pile the sand 'around' the chair (in a huge mound) so it didn't slide away. When should I point this out? When the chair is consistently not covered, despite the boy's efforts? "I can see what you're trying to do, but it isn't quite working, is it? Do you want to know what I would do?" When/if the child asks?

    I think the boy would have eventually worked it out - because of the novelty of the task, he would have perserved for a long time, and figured out the concept himself. So, should I have said nothing at any point? Or only if he asked for help? Or not even then?

    I would also be so interested in the research supporting "Never mind that children learn by doing, not by being told" and "Doing things for someone as a means of 'helping' is an adult construct; nine times out of ten, these children neither want nor need help, though they often enjoy the company. Giving predictive advice ("you'll fall", "that ramp will break") is an adult construct; these children need to find out these things for themselves in order to learn." And I don't mean to patronise you or call your judgement into question by directly quoting you - I simply wanted to be clear what I was looking for: the supporting research that predictive/"fixing" advice or being told what to do as an adult construct that isn't helpful for children's learning. I'd love to read it and absorb it so I can build my understanding more on this topic. :)

    1. I really identify with what you're saying, Kim! I've struggled with this one myself, many times.

      When to intervene is a really good question. Sometimes the most helpful thing we can do when a child is struggling with a problem is not to help, but to NARRATE what we see happening.

      So with the jigsaw, "You keep picking up that piece and trying to put it in the hole. It looks like you really think it goes there, but you can't quite get it to fit. I can see that you're keeping trying. You let me know if you'd like some help, won't you?"

      In this way you give the child moral support, if you like, in their struggle to make sense of whatever aspect of the puzzle they're struggling with, without taking the problem away from them. As you so smartly perceive, you're not quite sure if their struggle is with the motor task or with the concept of turning the piece to the correct orientation. I have also seen instances where the child knew perfectly well where the piece fitted, but seemed to be experimenting with some concept of their own making about NOT putting the piece where it went- almost as a joke, because I was watching! I got the feeling that I was the experiment, not the solution!

    2. (Had to break the answer up- too long for Blogger!)

      By using narration and reassuring the child that you are there as a resource, you have also offered help without forcing the issue. I find that usually, the child really doesn't want help. They genuinely need to travel that developmental road alone. If you help them, you take away the joy of victory at some future date, and you take away the window of opportunity for learning that the piece must be turned, or how to turn the piece- that will have to be learned some other day with some other puzzle. It's not a failure for you if the child stands up and walks away. That child just learned that sometimes the best thing to do with a frustrating situation is leave it for another day, when the solution may come to them more easily. That's a great life lesson.

      In the same way, you could narrate the boy's experience with the chair. "It looks like you're trying to cover that chair with sand. I can see that the sand keeps sliding away from the chair, but you're keeping trying to work out how to do it."

      Again, there is learning taking place here that you can't understand unless the boy tells you. Perhaps the experiment is actually to do with the properties of sand, or perhaps that is what the experiment has BECOME because of the difficulty of the original task. Until the boy asks you for help- and frustrated children will sometimes do exactly that- I wouldn't offer a solution, because that interrupts the learning about sand.

      Learning by doing is essential Piaget, and one of the first things I learned in my original teaching course. In Margaret Donaldson's very readable book 'Children's Minds', she explains that Piaget's work shows us that "awareness typically develops when something gives us pause and when consequently, instead of just acting, we stop to consider the consequences of acting which are before us... the notion of choice is central." When you intervene and solve the problem for a child, you take away that moment of choice NOT to repeat the same failed action, and you take away the choice to try something else of the child's own devising. Failure is a good thing in learning, until some well-meaning adult makes you feel stupid for it. I kick myself for the many times I've made a child feel stupid by fixing a problem for them which they wanted to solve themselves.

      So, how do we walk the right line between letting a child solve a problem themselves and scaffolding, as Vygotsky recommends? I think it's very important to know your child. Only you can know whether the boy in the sandpit and the girl with the jigsaw were ready for further learning with your help. Treating children as a homogenous mass in terms of philosophy will always bring us undone.

      If you've decided that the boy is ready to learn more, questions rather than answers are very helpful. "How do you think you could stop the sand sliding down? Is there anything I could get for you to help keep that sand up the top?" Invite further investigation. You could even plan a class group experience around the issue of stopping sand from sliding; invite input from peers. Scaffolding by peers is an excellent road to learning. Again, narration is your friend; if another child stops by to watch, you can say "Peter is having trouble stopping the sand from sliding down off the chair." That encourages cooperation as well as problem solving.

      Hope this answers your question!

    3. Thank you so much for your in-depth and kind reply. I think that incorporating narration is something I am going to focus on in the future.

      For some reason, it feels unintuitive for me to let children 'fail' when I could scaffold them to success. I think some of this feeling comes from being forced to 'scaffold' children in primary school who aren't ready to move on, because you can't teach individually in a classroom. For example, 'scaffolding' children to count numeral number sentences (3+5=) on a number line, when where they are actually working is with counters, still conceptualising quantity relating to numerals and the physical act of addition. I think I might have 'trained' myself to over-scaffold because of the pressure to bring all children up to a 'standard' by the end of the school year. Many classrooms are primarily about pouring knowledge in, not discovering it.

      Do you think it most appropriate to scaffold by saying something like: "Do you think it goes there? [wait for response] I wonder if it might fit if you wriggled it a little more" rather than "If you turn it some more, it will fit"? I am still very nervous about when to scaffold and when not to - despite my own feelings that it is 'unintuitive for me to let a child fail when I could scaffold them to success', the idea of taking away their choice to discover the solution for themselves is very compelling. This is very difficult and vague, but in what circumstances would you scaffold play? Or would you focus on scaffolding almost exclusively social skills and emotional regulation?

      Actually, I was just thinking to myself how much more time I would have to scaffold social skills, model/fill a role in dramatic play, facilitate writing down children's verbal stories, playing music and reading if I wasn't so preoccupied with 'scaffolding' children's success (taking away their choice to discover on their own in the process!). Hmm! Lots to think about.

    4. Kim, I know exactly what you're saying- I came to EC from a background of teaching school leavers in a VERY academic school. It's terribly hard to leave that behind and let children be the teachers.

      As for how to scaffold a play, I probably take a bit of a sideways approach. If a child's having trouble with a jigsaw, for example, I have sometimes taken the tack (but only when I perceived the child was ready) of pointing out colour matching. "Look, I think this is the girl's face. It's pink. There's a bit of pink on the piece in your hand- do you think you can make the two pink bits join together?" So rather than concentrating on the aspect of the problem that's frustrating them (purely the shape and orientation of the piece), I'd nudge them towards a new way of looking at the whole problem.

      If the problem was climbing a tree, I'd not give the child a foot up or suggest he use a chair, but I might stand with him and look at the tree. "Can you see some places where you could put your feet? What can you hold onto with your hands?" and help him plan his attempt.

      We really have to understand that failure is necessary to children. If we scoot them through tasks by giving them a constant 'foot up' with the intent to make them feel they've been successful, they in fact don't feel that success at all. They feel disenfranchised from their chosen task, and they haven't learned a thing. Scaffolding isn't telling them how to do it- it's helping them find new ways of looking, and it's providing resources or information, and it's asking them the right questions at the right moment. Discovering that 'right moment' is something that relies very much on our knowledge of the individual child. I think you have to take your focus off providing answers and focus instead on providing ladders, because it's the journey that matters- not having the right answer right now. There's no hurry. Hurrying small children is the enemy of learning.

      I love that you are being so reflective about your teaching. Teaching is also a journey, but some people take it with their eyes closed. Yours are open, and you've noticed that the scenery has changed- so good on you.

    5. Thank you so much for you continued replies. I think my new mantra will be "Scaffolding isn't telling them how to do it", and focus on not suggesting answers ("turn the piece") but giving information ("look, there is a big bump here! Is there a big bump on the jigsaw?").

      And thank you for your kind praise, it makes me feel good about challenging my own thinking. You do so much good work, and I really appreciate all your posts and your ideas. If you ever feel down, know that you are doing good in the world and people appreciate it very much!

    6. "Scaffolding isn't telling them how to do it"- that's perfect! Love it! And yes, information not answers is the way to go.

      Thank you also for your kind words. There are times when I do start to feel very downhearted, and I really appreciate your support.


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