Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Least Necessary Help. . .

Holy smokes.  Seriously, this one kills me; because in the world of able-bodied edumacation, "least necessary help" is the absolute norm.  Overexplaining, overly necessary help, simply strangles the educational opportunities that could pop and leap in the brain of a student. I call it staying out of one's peanut butter.  Imagine opening a fresh jar of peanut butter (the cheap stuff that has the bad hydrogenated oils in it).  It's a perfect swirl, unbroken and smooth.  You're just about to dig into it when along comes someone else and, like a perfect smartass, they plunge their silly butter-knife into your peanut butter and the moment is spoiled.  It's no longer yours. 
When I'm asking a student a question, it's quite often part of my routine to remind all the others in the room to "stay out of their peanut butter."  Let them think, let them try it, don't put an idea in their brain for them.  See what develops. 

In the conductive world, this is known as the "least necessary help."  I think there's a truckload of respect and dignity in this process.  After all, what's the point of 'caring for' someone if we don't 'care for' who they are?  We have to care about what they can do, what they'd like to do, what gives them a charge and some confidence.  

I'd go so far as to say that "least necessary help" is more of a human right than an educational precept.  What my son does is his.  My job is to help him have who he is and become who he is and who he wants to be; not simply change his clothes, clean him up, and keep him packaged, protected, and provendered.  I would think this is terribly obvious.  It seems ridiculous to even state it; yet when conductive types are trying to protect the peanut butter of their learners, a good deal of growling over the jar needs to happen, perhaps even the odd bite. 

As for those who disagree, the reverse applies.  
Bite me!   

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