Can’t We Let All Of Our Kids “Fix Kites?”

About 20 minutes before the end of my prep today, I came back into the classroom to grab a few things to do. When I got there, I noticed a student that made a kite. Flying a kite is a new experience for him. He knew that he needed wind to make the kite move, so he started to run around the room as fast as he could, so that the kite would fly. Of course, the prep coverage teacher was concerned that he might fall, but he still really wanted to fly this kite. I asked how much more time I had left for my prep, and she said 15 minutes. Perfect! I told him that he could bring his kite outside.

The two of us brought his kite into the Kindergarten playground area, and he ran around and around watching his kite fly. He even tried taking his kite down the slide. He was so happy! Then the kite broke. 

I was sure that he was going to come to me in tears, but he didn’t. I was even prepared to help him tie the string up again, but he never asked. He just sat down and quietly worked on fixing his knot. Then another piece broke, and he fixed that too. In total, he fixed three pieces, and after each one, he tested the kite again and made changes as needed. Amazing!

This experience was a great reminder to me that sometimes — maybe even many times — we need to interfere less. I thought back to what Karyn Callaghan said the other day about our view of the child as “competent and capable.” If we believe this, then wouldn’t we also believe that all of our kids can “fix kites?” I wonder what else they can fix.


6 thoughts on “Can’t We Let All Of Our Kids “Fix Kites?”

  1. Such a wonderful story! I love it. It made me wonder, though…
    – would this student have had the ability to problem solve and stick to the hard work of fixing at the beginning of the year?
    – if not, what experiences have you provided to him or supported him in that has allowed him to grow into these skills? This, I think, is the magic of this moment….all of the long days and months of moments that led to this demonstration of learning.

    I also wonder, what happened next? Did the student reflect on his efforts/success? How did the other students react? Did you have more kites being built today?

    • Thanks Kristi for your comment, but also for getting me to think more. This student just moved from Syria about a month ago. Watching him yesterday did make me wonder which skills he may have come with and which he’s learnt since he’s been here. Since language is a barrier, he’s really forced me to watch and listen more (and I think that’s a good thing). At the end of the day today, I noticed him trying to make another kite, and he was also showing a friend what to do. They never finished though. Maybe they will tomorrow (and will show some others), and maybe if I played the videos, he could inspire even more students in the class. You have me thinking now, Kristi. Thank you!


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