Most often when students face a problem or challenge, I'll say to the children, "How can we solve this problem." More often than not, students know exactly what they need to remedy the situation. And when they don't, they'll turn to me and say, "I'm not sure, can you help?"
Rather than spending significant time trying to figure out what a child needs, instead make the time to sit down and discuss that with the child. They know themselves and their needs well.
Too much time in schools is spent outside of the direct time-on-task with students. Yes, it's important to have adequate prep and planning time, but it's not necessary to have lots and lots of people working around the needs of students and not with students.
How can we best utilize time in schools to teach children well? What roles are integral? What roles can change? How can the way we spend our time-on-task and our time for prep and planning best? I'm thinking about these questions as the year begins.