Words of Wisdom

Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom

“Little children love the world. That is why they are so good at learning about it. For it is love, not tricks and techniques of thought, that lies at the heart of all true learning.”

–John Holt, in How Children Learn

Who can’t help but enjoy the privilege of seeing the world through a little one’s eyes? Watch a little child, and it’s plain to see how much they love the world. John Holt says that love is what makes them such good learners. I think we have much we can learn from children.

Words of Wisdom

Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom

“We don’t always have to be in such a big hurry to correct children’s mistakes. We can afford to give them time to notice and correct them themselves.”

–John Holt (in How Children Learn)


Today’s food for thought: What would happen if we weren’t so quick to make corrections of young children? What potential benefit is there to allowing others time to notice and correct their own mistakes? Does this apply only to young children, or for older students as well?

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Words of Wisdom

Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom

“All I am saying in this book can be summed up in two words — TRUST CHILDREN. Nothing could be more simple — or more difficult.”

–John Holt, in How Children Learn


Stay tuned for more quotes and my full review of John Holt’s classic book, How Children Learn, coming soon! For now, enjoy today’s quote that encourages us to trust students when it comes to their own learning. I couldn’t agree more with Holt that trust is an important part of creating a warm, positive learning environment for students.

Happy Wednesday, my readers!

Words of Wisdom

Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom

“Teachers open the door, but you must enter by yourself.”

Chinese proverb

With whom does the responsibility for learning lie: the teacher, or the student?

The answer: probably both. The question presents a false dichotomy. (As my pastor growing up used to say: When you ask the wrong question, you get the wrong answer.)

The reality is that both parties share some responsibility in the process of education.

But teachers, let’s focus on ourselves for a moment: How can we open the door for our students? But further, what can we do to help empower our students to enter by themselves?

And now considering our teacher selves as the lifelong learners we are, and putting ourselves in the shoes of the students in our care: How can we help ourselves enter the doorways of learning?

Words of Wisdom

Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom

“Learning is not attained by chance. It must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.”

Abigail Adams

Learning requires a little skin in the game. It’s not likely to happen just by chance. Learning comes around thanks to passion for the subject matter and a zeal for learning. Plus, a healthy amount of some good ole’ elbow grease.

How do you help YOUR students fully apply and invest themselves in learning?

General, Words of Wisdom

Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”

Benjamin Franklin

Learning is truly an investment. It’s a sacrifice made in the hope that we will reap the benefits of knowledge many times over.

There are so many different ways to spend our time, energy, and resources. But in my experience, investing in knowledge tends to pay off and prove worthwhile to my quality of life…especially when it’s something I’m deeply interested in!

Do you agree? What have YOU invested to learn recently?

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.

Words of Wisdom

Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom

“Take the attitude of a student: never be too big to ask questions, never know too much to learn something new.”

OG Mandino

This message is a GOOD ONE for us to keep in mind as we all become older and wiser. We are naturally good learners as children, but as we grow up sometimes we become less willing or less open to learning new things.

But it doesn’t have to be that way! We can assume the attitude of a student, no matter how old we are. We can be comfortable with the fact that we don’t know everything. We can be willing to ask questions. We can be EXCITED when there are opportunities to learn new things.

Moreover, we can MODEL this attitude for the young ones in our charge. Have your students witnessed your excitement to try out new piano literature with them? Have they seen you introduce new resources, teaching aids, or projects? Have they seen you perform in your studio recitals? Have they heard about your own practice strategies? Have they seen you embrace new technology? If so, that’s awesome!!

As teachers, let’s strive to not only be the best teachers we can be, but also the best learners we can be.