“It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.” ~ Albert Einstein
“Dee! Dee! Dee!” my son likes to walk around on his little one year old legs and point at everything he sees. He asks me what something is by pointing at it and saying, “Dee!” I haven’t really figured out what that word is supposed to be, but it doesn’t matter, I understand him. It’s been one of the most amazing experiences of my life so far. Being a father is something that I never imagined would be so exciting, so scary, so awe inspiring. I realize that he is relying on me to teach him the things he doesn’t know, so every time he points to my phone, my ear, the dog, the cars, or anything in sight I explain to him what it is. Fortunately, at this age, he’s always satisfied with my answer and he moves onto the next item. “Dee?” That has become one of the most interesting questions that I receive each day.
I think a lot about what I’m teaching him each day, and over the past few months I’ve realized that it’s not only important that I teach him every day, it’s important that I teach those around me who I’ve been blessed with. Although we may lose the audacity to walk around and point at everything we see, it doesn’t mean that we don’t still have questions. Part of the joy of a child is that everything they experience is new and exciting. They don’t know; and they don’t know any better.
Though he doesn’t realize it, my tiny son has been teaching me lessons about teaching and learning:
1. Never stop asking questions – you never know what you’re missing unless your brave enough and naive enough to ask the question.
2. Remember that someone right next to you right now is afraid to say “Dee!” so volunteer the answers and help them grow. Show them that life is still exciting, that they can learn, and that you will teach them.
3. Discover something new and exciting every day. It will keep you young and interested and exciting.
4. Share what you’re learning. It will help you retain it, and it will help you keep learning.
Today – if you’re feeling like you’re toddling around unsure of your footing, it’s ok. Keep asking the questions, keep discovering, keep learning.
What do you think helps you learn? Share your thoughts in the comments below.