It was when we were asked to read an article by Terry Thompson from Choice Literacy. Basically,
Thompson discusses how teachers inadvertently "rescue" the students and carry the burden of the work rather than allowing the students to work through challenging materials. We often do this not to hinder the students but because we honestly have a drive to see our students become successful and we want to help them rather than to see them struggle. It is also suggested in the article that there are four steps to successful scaffolding and many teachers jump from step one directly to step four. There in lies my ah-ha moment? If I evaluate my teaching honestly, I can say that I have been a rescuer! If I also look back at my planning, I can see that it is probably a result of my confidence (and ego) to think that I don't need to plan for scaffolding. I tended to scaffold as I taught based upon student response and interaction rather then purposefully considering the phases of scaffolding as noted by Thompson! Well, that is now going to change....I am going to do my best to follow the below phases and put more responsibility of the work of learning on my students and allow them to work through and manipulate their thoughts with texts rather than rescuing. So, ask yourself..."Do I scaffold or rescue?"
To help me remember to scaffold appropriately, I took Thompson's suggestions and created us poster to display in our rooms so that we may refer to it often. I hope you enjoy it! Click on the picture to download.