So I haven’t posted in a while but for a good reason. My wife and I adopted a baby girl in June and she has become the focus of our time. She is happy, healthy and we feel very lucky to have her in our lives. I’d always been told being a parent makes you a better teacher. I can see how that is true. She is also a great example of a better learner. Watching her learn is fascinating. Man, have I started reflecting on what and how I do things. At 70 million new connections a day, I want to make sure she is making the right ones. You can see her processing so much while she watches and listens to what goes on around her. And the imitation part drives my wife crazy sometimes as she already picks up some of my “bad” habits at 15 months old (no matter how much fun they may be).
By far though, the most important thing she does is Be Fearless. She is not afraid to try or do anything, oblivious to the danger or risk she is taking. And that’s okay because that’s why I’m here. She can push the limits of her learning and environment as much as she wants with me ready to step in when it does become too dangerous.
I wish it was that way in the classroom more. In the last few years it seems students coming into my class are taking fewer and fewer risks. They are just happy with what they see others do and imitating it. My job has become more about challenging them to think as individuals and take risks rather than teaching them software and theory. Not saying that wasn’t always a part of the class before but there was a balance between the two. It didn’t take much of a spark to light that creative fuse. Now, I’m getting scared to show or do examples because that’s exactly what I get back. At a time in our society when so much of an emphasis is placed on being an individual, there seem to be fewer and fewer of them taking a seat in my room. I don’t know when that risk-taking disappears in a child’s learning but it’s a terrible loss and we need to get it back.