Giving children permission to make mistakes

I was talking to a year 4 teacher this week who has just started with her class and was telling me a  lot of the children find it hard to get started with their maths. I explored with him whether this may be about them being worried about getting things wrong and making mistakes and as I know some of the children I thought this may well be the case. I encouraged him to talk to the whole class about making mistakes and how that can feel in order to give them permission to feel like this and give the message it’s ok to get things wrong. When I saw him later in the day he shared how he had talked to them about him failing his driving test four times and how embarrassed and upset he had felt about this. The children started to share with him times when they had felt like this and were very open and honest. The teacher felt he had made a break through in his relationships with them as I pointed out there has to be a certain amount of children feeling safe and trusting the adult in order to sage when they have let vulnerable. Then teacher used this as an opportunity to talk about perseverance and sticking at something that we find difficult, a really good example of the importance of talking to children openly and honestly about feelings.

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