Building Community Through Better Relationships

Will I Ever Have to Use This?

Child and adult learners commonly ask, “Will I ever have to use this?” when presented with a challenging lesson. For kids the answer is always yes. Then, the teacher goes ahead with the lesson. But for grown-ups, the honest answer seems to be no.

Kids will have to use it because they can be taught to grow. Considering that learning is fundamentally acquiring and using new information, kids can often be convinced (or coerced) to accept the lesson. They are naturally inquisitive and are receptive to accept new information, as long as it is relevant. Unfortunately for grown-ups, they have been conditioned to accept the status quo and not grow. Their inquisitiveness has been beaten down by years of “don’t”, “stop”, and “no”. Beware of the child who grows up too fast and has had his inquisitiveness beaten out of him. On the other hand embrace adults who refuse to grow up. By maintaining their youthful curiosity, they will be more receptive to try, fail, and learn. These adults will find a way “to use this”!

Too many grown-ups assert their adolescent right to individuality. They proclaim the right to do what they want; and not do what they don’t want! That grown-up is quick to ask, “Will I ever have to use this?” As an instructor, my answer is “no”. Furthermore, I am thinking… I accept that the student is grown and is making it through life just fine without this skill. Be confident and defiant in your mediocrity. You’re tough, so you don’t need to be smart. Wow, you told me; I guess I can’t make you learn. By the way, why are you even here?

On the other hand, what about the adult who possesses a genuine curiosity to acquiring new information and learning additional skills, who bangs on the piano keys and calls it music, who goes to a Mexican restaurant and orders by speaking bad Spanish? That adult will learn more, grow more and live more. Not just in class, but in life! The grown-up who refuses to learn and defies anyone who tries to make her is gradually turning into dry bones.

I choose to teach adults who want to accept the child-like, life giving force of learning. I tell the students courageous enough to embrace the thrill of learning, “Yes, you will have to use it.” Then, hope like hell they do. I choose to teach my students as if they are children, because children have more fun! Laughter is in my classroom. Effective learning is like unwrapping a surprise with a big red bow. Furthermore, I challenge every learner regardless of age to accept and use the gift that anyone who teaches anything positive is presenting.

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” ~ George Bernard Show

By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter & Beyond


May 14, 2014 - Posted by | Better Communication, Better Community, Better World | , , , , , ,

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