Every so often, it occurs to me to think about how most of my teaching career is based around teaching kids to do something that I do poorly.
Oh, it’s not to say that I’m a bad history teacher, or a bad Latin teacher, or that I’m G0d-awful at any of the things that I teach officially. But I teach so many more things than my official subject matter. Yesterday I taught someone how to use a sewing machine. Thursday I taught someone how to keep a to-do list. Wednesday I taught someone how tie a couple of knots. Tuesday I taught someone how to plan backwards. Last month I taught someone to find the constellation of Gemini.
But really, a lot of teaching work is
- meeting kids where they are;
- meeting kids with anything at all that you can do, at the level you can do it;
- providing them with basic instruction;
- encouragement to learn more;
- directions to more information.
That manse we have to have an answer. We have to be willing to try. It’s ok for that answer to be “no…” as long as the next sentence is, “but let’s figure it out.”
And that’s maybe what it means to say, “Let’s do it for the kids.”