Understanding Revisited

                A friend recently shared some interesting insights.  Understanding is like being yourself.  Kids have it.  Teens have it.  But often, they wonder why the adults don’t see what they see.  They run around, looking under rocks for bugs, watching butterflies, creating games and make-believe, making comments some of us find cute or “we’ve heard that before.”

                We’re born with this thing called understanding.  It’s like seeing and knowing without any intellectual input.  We just know.  They’re often the “ah haa” moments in our lives.  Hmmm….  I wonder why my grades aren’t better.  Wait.  Ah haaa….  If I look for the key points, find what the author is trying to say, all the other information will come together.  Ah haaa….

                As one who has taught and coached, I look for those “ah haaa” moments.  Now, there is a great point here.  Once you understand something, it becomes a part of you.  If you learn something by rote, cramming for tests, you might ace them, but most forget the information within a short time.  But, if you understand something, it’s forever with you.  Yes, you might forget the details, but later, upon review, all of it returns.  Like riding a bike.  And you don’t have to think about it.  Just enjoy the adventure.  Enjoy discovery.  Don’t look back. 

                Understanding is like knowing without knowing how you know.  It’s like when I was told gravity is like a swinging bucket of water.  Nice analogy, but intuitively I knew the explanation was not sufficient.   And I didn’t doubt that innate understanding.  Later, much later, I read scientific writings that supported what I knew so many years earlier. 

                Do you know it has been said that bees should not be able to fly.  Based upon their dimensions, those tiny wings, they shouldn’t be able to fly.  But bees haven’t learned this.  They just go about, knowing without knowing how they know.  They just fly.  But I took this one step further.  I realized their size has something to do with that, that perhaps if the dimensions were increased a thousand fold, perhaps they wouldn’t be able to fly, unless they didn’t know better.  But they’re so tiny.  Hmmm….

One more thought. Encourage understanding, then as a teacher, you will see teaching becoming easier and perhaps more enjoyable. The kid’s and teens’ own motivation will the the energy as they see their own self-motivation. Understanding is like energy, recharging, engaging, and full of new understandings.

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