Monday, April 14, 2014

Support or Help? What do we supply?

Below is a representation of support!

This motor needed a new water pump. Right behind the middle pulley is the water pump.  
Was it help or support that aided in the replacement.
This broken engine, repaired by following the written instructions in the manual,  represents an example of the application of support.

The car broke down by the side of the highway with a sign that says, "send help," is an example of help!
Support is necessary to help others get through things.  "Getting through," is the key.  With support, a student can solve a problem.  Support lends itself to self-sufficiency.  Confidence and self esteem are also strengthened when support is offered, as opposed to help.
Support implies a bit more independence than help.  Help implies the situation is too dire to face alone and aid is required.  The broken down car, stranded by the side of the road is trapped and short of a long walk to help, nothing can be down!  An offer of help may imply dependency!   Consider a toddler trying and exploring a new skill or task.  Often times, they want to try it alone. 
For instance, an overprotective guardian may actually weaken the youth by becoming the crutch.  Teachers continuously look for this line or sensitive cusp, ready to support, encourage and prompt into mastery.  The consummate educator understands and sets up opportunities just outside the comfort level or reach of students knowing students own success when it is authentic.  Students can read between the lines when looking for artificial concern.  They recognize true interest and care.
This "key lime pie" was made as a gift.  The recipiant did nothing but recieve it.  No help could have made it better.  (It might have even made it worse!)
Here is a picture that could represent help.  It was birthday gift from a chef who specializes in pies.  There were no contributions from me necessary to complete the task.  Her gift was helping me.

In our lives, how much help do we offer when support is all that's needed? 
When do we step in too early and eliminate the risks, as well as the value for our students? 
Our students want as little help as possible but as much support as needed to reach their goals.  They want us to use our experience to support them and step in to help, after their risk taking events failed them, without judgement or condemnation.

Provide support, and offer help, when only needed.

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