Love of Learning Cannot Be Taught….Can It?

“Zen cannot really be taught, but it can be transmitted through session of contemplation or meditation, called zazen, and through dialogues between student and teacher, called sanzen.”

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The love of learning cannot really be taught. It is something inside of you that must be brought out. Working on this thought instantly made me think of my daughter Addy during our vacation to the Gulf Shores. Addy was all about trying to boogie board. She was just flat out determined. She tried and tried and tried. Nothing was going to stop her. This drive came from within. I think some key ideas here with this thought process of finding that drive is

1. Exposure – In Iowa we cannot boogie board. She had no idea that she would love this activity. By bringing her to an environment where she could see potential for something she might enjoy was key.

2. Positive Vibe – Addy caught one wave early on and everyone complimented her about being able to boogie board. This provided her enough boost in her confidence to continue with developing.

There are other moments when we try to get our children to do something they don’t want to do. We attempt, beg, plead, get angry, grow frustrated only to have the child not be any more happy with themselves because they are not yet ready.

Education is the same way. We cannot expect students to learn if they are not yet ready whether that means intellectually, developmentally, or just because of the socioeconomic factors in their lives. What we can provide in schools is the sanzen, where the teachers work to help students find their path. We can work to help them discover themselves. We can light the tunnel that might make a connection to something they love and want to pursue. Not all kids like what I taught as an educator, but they need exposure.

It instantly reminds me of a student I once had. She was one of the best students you could ask for. She did not want to do robotics in our gifted program. Due to our structure, time constraints, and inventory survey(I can share our program if interested) I decided to make all the kids do robotics. What transpired was riveting. She instantly fell in love and wanted more. She was the one that did not want the unit to end. She wanted more. She wanted to be on our competitive robotics team.

Sometimes we have make them do things they don’t want to do. But, it comes back to relationships. We have to know when to move on and call it day. When the tensions and frustrations kick in to a point where nothing is being achieved you have to make a call. Is this the moment before breakthrough?  Or do we have to to continue to be pushed down the path a bit longer?

The beauty of life and learning is that we take our own footsteps and create a trail in a new direction and journey that only we can create.

Or in the case of Addy, wait patiently for the right wave and let it bring you to where you want to be.

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