Ready To Learn? Then Get Set and Go!by Marc Severson on Mar. 25, 2013, under Education
Any good parent will tell you they can’t make their children behave, but what they can do is make them want to behave. They can make them imagine the consequences of not behaving in a certain way and choose to do what is safest for their continued happiness.
Teachers will tell you teaching is not like that.
This is where teaching and parenting part ways. Teachers can develop dire outcomes to aberrant behaviors in many faceted forms and children will still choose the wrong path, no matter our resistance.
So that’s it, fine, we have no recourse, if children don’t want to learn, we can’t make them. It’s over, give up.
No, that’s why we have teachers.
What teachers can do, if fact what many teachers are really good at, is they can make children ready to learn. This is the penultimate divergence between parenting and teaching. Teachers check to see what skills children have before they try to teach them something. They evaluate student learning styles to see how the child processes new concepts and how best they internalize new ideas and teachers strive to make the learning of the material understandable and interesting so that the child is intrigued by the thought of pursuing it further.
Teachers spend most of their time preparing children so they are ready to learn, it is what they do.
Ready to learn. What an epiphany!
Our focus in education over the last few years has been directed at setting the curriculum (read test) and forcing the child to learn it or else. “Learn this or fail!” has been a hollow mantra that has resulted in increased frustration and growing despair among students and teachers alike.
Imagine if our cynosure was the child, themselves. What if we chose instead to ensure that the child had all they needed to be ready to learn before we demanded that they do it?
If you are working on your car would you get up in the morning and throw up the hood without first gathering tools, identifying the problem, making sure you had parts and perhaps even fixing yourself a cup of coffee to help ameliorate your mood at being forced to pursue the activity in the first place? No, you want to be prepared.
We owe our children at least this courtesy. Make sure they are ready to learn before we ask them to learn. Provide the stability and security of the freedom from hunger, disease, poverty or fear and then offer the enrichment of exposure to all the developmental prerequisites necessary to make the child feel confident they are prepared and yes, even eager to learn.