What makes SOLE Grannies wonderful is the attitude they have with children. If you’ve had the pleasure of seeing a SOLE in action, when working with the children, the Grannies are genuinely interested in the children and are always showing appreciation for them and trying to understand the children for who they are. Which is how the self organized learning environment often differs from traditional schools.
SOLEs have been criticized by many for trying to take the teacher out of the equation when it comes to learning. It’s quite the opposite actually. That Grannies and their interactions are vital. Just because they are not systematically and constantly tracking and assessing children does not mean that they are not a part of the children learning. The Grannies are a major reason why SOLEs are so different from the current let’s-get-all-the-tech-in-the-classroom movement.
Human beings naturally gravitate toward groups. We are tribal by nature. One of the things we must confront in school is that the children are not gravitating toward the teachers. They never have. And when we try to get them to buy into us and who we are by jazzing up the same things we’ve been doing with modern technology and games, we are essentially making ourselves into the kid who bought the latest, most expensive video game console so that the rest of the kids would want to come over his house to play. And we all know that all that kid really had to do was do what SOLE Grannies do: take an interest in the other children and appreciate them for who they are, and he’d have an easy time making friends.
And that is the most magical thing that a SOLE Granny does.