General, Words of Wisdom

Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom

Every act of conscious learning requires the willingness to suffer an injury to one’s self esteem. That is why young children, before they are aware of their own self-importance, learn so easily.”

Muriel Spark

Learning is risky.

It means our self esteem might take a blow. It means our attempts might look inept. It means we might realize just how much we don’t know.

Young children don’t have this problem. They are accustomed to having to learn new things all the time. And as the quote points out, they have little awareness of their own self-importance. As a result, they generally aren’t shy about jumping in to try something new!

Maybe we can “stay young” and learn from kids. We can choose to not allow our pride to get hurt when we are in those awkward learning stages. Maybe we can try to recover quickly, laugh it off, and not allow those moments to get to us.

How can we help our students, as they grow up, stay open to risky learning experiences?

Because learning is worth the risk.

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5 thoughts on “Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom”

  1. This is so true. It’s easy to give up pursing something rather than be embarrassed about a lack of skill. I long to be a teacher who retains the childlike curiosity in both learning and teaching.

  2. I often tell my students that it is ok to not know all the answers and to make mistakes. I make sure they know that their lesson is a safe place and that they will be treated wth the utmost respect. When the learning environment is such then they feel safe to open up.
    As their teacher, I frankly tell them when I don’t know somethings and express to them that I am still learning too. When that happens, we try to find out the answer together.

    1. I love that, Lisa. Absolutely, it’s up to us teachers to create a safe learning space where mistake are not only tolerated, but welcome! I love how you described being open with students about not always having all the answers. That’s such a great model for students to see. Thanks for your comment!

  3. I agree with Lisa! I love having to pick up my music dictionary, saying “ya’ know…….I just not quite sure ! Let’s check it out!”

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