My two young children teach me so much. When learning to ice-skate, my daughter was willing to get up many times after falling down. In fact, she even enjoyed falling down, maybe because she knew she was improving with each fall, as she learned what did not work. My son is learning to talk, adding new words each day, it seems. He is so curious, always asking, “What’s that?” when he sees something new.
As we grow, we seem to lose our willingness to find opportunity in each setback. Students choose not to ask questions out of fear of how they might look to others, so they never gain the knowledge that was right there for the taking. So, fear of looking like a failure, is the very thing that causes students to accept failure by not doing their very best.
When problem-solving, it’s important to ask yourself questions such as, “What am I given?” and, “What am I trying to find?” The bible says in order to receive, the thing you must do is ask. That’s all you need to do! Be more like a two-year-old and ask lots of questions, and solutions will come to you. Maybe the issue for students is that teachers simply tell them the answer, instead of asking them questions to get them thinking. We adults need to do a better job of modelling the need to ask questions, to take risks, and to be independent.
When I work with my students and I put a question on the board, often they don’t know what to do at first. Most of the time, I just ask something like, “What can you do?” or, “What do you think?” and then the ideas start to come. Asking leads to thought which leads to ideas. So ask and ask some more and you will receive!
The bible also says, “Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it”. Faith requires believing in that which you cannot yet see and which you cannot fully understand. Adults make the mistake of believing they can understand everything fully, on their own, which means they push aside their childlike faith.
If you think about it, anything that now exists in this world is here because it was created first in the mind, and then in reality. For example, the home you live in wouldn’t be there, if someone hadn’t used their imagination to plan it out and bring their plan to life through action.
I have learned from my children that their favorite toys are often not toys at all. They are so creative that they play with cardboard boxes, make forts out of blankets and chairs, play hide and seek just about anywhere we find ourselves, and fill my cup with imaginary tea, which is quite yummy I might add.
So, connect with the small child inside of you, take risks and don’t spend much time worrying what others think. Laugh often, find time for play each day, be curious and creative, and ask lots of questions!