In my preschool classroom we have a fishbowl filled with green ivy and stick bugs, which are prolific creatures. They are crawling out of a few torn holes in a mesh net wrapped around the top. I notice a stick bug has found it’s way out and is now perched onto a shelf. I then point it out to a few kids. Explaining the situation with a small group of kids hovering around; Alex decides to volunteer to place the stick bug back inside the container with the others. My quick advice is to be gentle, as he proceeds with care, however he fumbles the stick bug a bit. “How do you do this,” he pleads. “ I don’t know,” is my immediate response. “I thought teachers, know everything,” he fires back. “Teachers, don’t know everything…there is a lot we don’t know,” I chime back.
Reluctantly he scoops up the insect cupping it into his hand, but manages to gentle hold on. I help by opening up the netting, as he gingerly places it back in. His gratifying smile shows how proud he is to place the insect back into the fishbowl.
So maybe, I pulled a teacher’s bluff. Yes, I could have put the stick bug back in the fishbowl myself, but the experience was right before our eyes and it had the kids’ interest. But what good would it do if I just told him what I “know,” or simply did it for him?