It’s a given that we learn from our children, whether we are educators or not. They teach us color-blindness while interacting with other kids. They teach us loyalty – to family, teachers and fellow students. And they teach us curiosity about every entity that surrounds them.
This inquisitive nature never fails to motivate and inspire me. It permeates every aspect of the day.
What are we doing next?
When are you coming back?
Why can’t you be here every day?
How long until lunch?
What can I do to help you?
How old are you?
How old are your kids and what are their names?
Before now, I hadn’t spent much time pondering the source of this curiosity. Saying, “It’s just the way kids are” is tantamount to saying, “Crime happens – it’s simply reality.”
Part of the explanation can be traced to the idea that knowledge is power. Kids are told when to go to bed, when to get up, when and what to eat and an endless number of other directions that are leveled at them each day. Having discretion over information is its own type of privilege.
While many students indulge in mimicking the behavior of others, many urgently seek uniqueness. When I teach the human skeleton, I earnestly hope that one child remembers the patella or mandible. Maybe he or she will be curious enough to take the word home and use it to do more investigation or try it on someone else.
Using the native curiosity of children is a challenge as well as an advantage. If I can direct enthusiasm, a desire to impact the world and respect toward self-improvement, I am fulfilled. Shalom.