It is difficult because if teachers do it too soon, students are set up for an avoidable failure and distress.
Do it too late and students rebel against your guidance.
Parents face this issue as well. Outside of parents and teachers, nobody else is faced with the effects of such a decision.
Want to refine your instincts and improve the timing of such a decision?
- Try teaching a child how to ride a bicycle (or any other new skill).
- Take up a new hobby and record your own feelings about trying on your own.
- Listen to parents talk about how their child learned to dress themselves (or independently do any other task at home).
There is an art to knowing when to back away. Finely tuned instincts help. So does being observant and listening to cues from your students.
Oh, and backing away doesn't mean running away. You can back away slowly at first. This allows you to jump back in and respond as needed.