“I might get it wrong….”

This week a teacher asked me what he could do about a 10 year old boy in his class who kept finding excuses why he couldn’t do much writing in class. The child was often preoccupied, daydreaming and never produced much work. The teacher was becoming increasingly worried about this and had tried keeping him in at break to complete work but even this hadn’t made much difference. I have worked with children who are so anxious about getting things wrong that they don’t even attempt things. The sense of failure for these children is so overwhelming that it can feel safer to opt out altogether rather than risk this happening. I wondered if this child was worried about making mistakes and suggested that he offer him the opportunity to write on loose paper rather than in his book and to explain to him that there is plenty of paper so he can have as much as he needs. I suggested the teacher talk to him about his fear, remind him it’s ok to make mistakes and offer him the chance to glue the paper in his book if he wanted to, but that this was not the main purpose. Watch this space……..

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