Have you ever heard of shadowing in a kidmin classroom? Shadowing is a great technique used with children who are having difficulty in group settings. It requires an extra volunteer to stay close and assist when the child requires help. The person shadowing becomes the child’s buddy and must remain close enough to intervene when necessary. The volunteer would help, love, support, and encourage the child. And being close to the child will help limit disruptive behavior, help protect other children, and help the child feel guided, loved, and accepted.
Shadowing works well with different ages and stages of development. One of the earliest issues that teachers encounter is biting. The person shadowing stays close to the child that is having difficulty controlling the urge to bite. Because the volunteer is close, they can intervene when the child is getting ready to bite. This person also gets to know the child better and learns to recognize what is causing the child’s frustration which results in biting. This method also works with children who are having difficulty getting along with others. Children sometimes need gentle loving reminders to be nice while playing with friends.
Shadowing is a great way to maintain a positive teaching and learning environment. This technique benefits the child that is experiencing difficulty in group settings too. It will help the child get adjusted to being in a group as well as helping him through any transitional periods. Shadowing will create a happier, more positive teaching and learning environment for both the teacher and child.
Do you practice shadowing in your kids ministry classroom? Do you think it might improve the classroom experience for kids who need a little extra help?