Teaching Children to be Independent

Teaching Children to be Independent

Teaching Children to be Independent


We have all been there, the students that need to be babysat the whole lesson, they just seem to be incapable of handling the simplest of tasks without you watching and directing.

This is nothing to do with ability or complexity of the task. This is learned behaviour and is something that can be taught out of your students.

So the question is how?

Well there are lots of tips and tricks:

Be unavailable!

The less available you are in your class the more students will have to work things out for themselves. This, of course, only works if they are clear on your expectations. Make sure they know that you are there only for real emergencies and support, not for things they could handle themselves.


This takes some training, but you can get the children to recognise when they should be solving their own problems.

Give written and visual instructions

Children will often come back to you if they are unsure of what they should be doing. Giving them details of the task, either written or as visual representation, can really cut down on the amount of interaction they want to have with you.


Assign buddies

Pairing children together that are of different abilities can really help them focus on tasks. Children need help with their work can first ask their buddy, if they are still stuck they can then come to you.


Give them PSHE lessons on working independently

Having a whole lesson on problem solving in lessons, working independently and being proactive in our learning can be very helpful and really develops the classroom atmosphere.

Make Independent heroes

Recognise the children that have made the most progress. Celebrate the steps they take toward independence and other children will follow by example.


 To get help with your planning and resources check out these free resources

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