Christmas was a little unusual this year. I was a bit buffeted with pills and medicines and not quite sure whether I would be well enough to face a Christmas dinner, but in the event my younger daughter arrived to pick me up and take me back to her house for a most appetizing meal and in the course of it I found out about the power of ‘yet’.
My second grandson who teaches, and I were talking about what my old darling who was the first teacher in the family, used to call ‘kidology’. In other words, the various tricks and games that teachers who understand how children learn use to encourage their pupils. I used to play all sorts of silly games to encourage and coax my pupils – drama was the best one of all but there was also the tennis elbow foot game for example, which often got wonderfully rude, ‘what is dis?’ and CATs and ANTs which were happy aids to spelling and lots of fun because we drew the cats and ants on the board as we discovered more and more of them, like an ‘expectorANT spitting’ and a ‘pregnANT and expectANT and a ‘CATastrophe’ but I had never heard of the power of YET. So I got my teaching grandson to elucidate, ‘It’s when a kid tells you I can’t do that,’ he said to me and the best answer you can give them is – you can’t do that YET. It’s a way of helping them to see that it might one day be possible. I like the idea very much because it’s so positive and affectionate, so I’m passing it on to you.
One day when I’m not writing novels I might put together a collection of helpful hints for teachers who know how children learn. So if there are any other teachers out there who would like to pass on your own helpful hints, I’d love to hear from you.