Flashback post from August 2008

While I watched the girls at their swimming lessons today, I had an Ah ha! moment: learning is risky.

Let me give an example. Michaiah's teacher wanted her to learn how to flip turn. She talked Michaiah through the steps. She demonstrated the process. Michaiah tried but couldn't do it. The teacher, forgetting what it was like NOT to be able to flip turn, tried other strategies but eventually called the neighboring teacher to her aid. As Michaiah practiced, she bashed her head, she botched her flips until, finally, she succeeded.

From my comfortable perch on the sidelines, I imagined myself in her place. I would have been nervous. I would have felt threatened. I would have been in a rush to prove myself. Not Michaiah. With concentration, determination, and an obvious peace with the process, she persisted toward the goal.

This is the life of children whose full-time job is learning. To progress, they must face the unknown, trust the one guiding them, potentially (and probably) look stupid, and try, try again. That sounds risky.

It sounds like something else, too. For those of us who teach, patience is required.

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