Every week I go into classrooms and teach them about problem solving and how kids can solve a lot of problems on their own (even kindergartners). Lately, I have been encouraging the students to try solving "kid sized" problems all on their own. These are problems such as name calling, someone bothering you in class, or even someone not playing with you at recess. I empowered the students to share with me times that they have solved problems on their own. This means ignoring or using their words to tell someone how they are feeling (we call this an "I" Statement)
Even though I go in and talk about these topics weekly, I am always unsure of how much they are really using this skill. This was until the other day when I had three first graders come up to me and tell me that they had solved a problem all on their own. They were so proud of themselves and it was clear to see!
It is moments like these that remind me how important it is to teach kids problem solving skills. There is not always going to be an adult around to step in and solve it for you! In the situation I mentioned earlier, 2 of the girls were being mean to the other one. Instead of going straight to a teacher the girls all apologized to each other and invited each other to play at recess. In the end it was solved and the girls remained friends.
I could give so many more examples of students coming up to me and telling me that they solved a problem on their own and I could not be prouder of the students at Goodrich. These are skills that will take them very far in life!