Every day, when I teach my students at school, I am inspired and deeply blessed by their passion and excitement about learning. They so frequently pull on me and what I have to impart to them, asking deep questions, searching for greater understanding, and showing high engagement in discussions. They seem to have this innate desire to always learn more, and they seem to possess a true love for learning.
So where along the road do we lose this? The more I am around my students, the more I am convicted that, somewhere along the line, I began to look at learning differently than I did when I was younger. When I was young, learning was an exciting process filled with endless possibilities. As I grew older, it seemed to become more of a mundane routine that required work and constructive correction.
I know this is not across the board, but it seems that, as a general rule, people have a tendency to lose their love for learning as they grow older. As children, people are so excited to try new things, and they aren’t as concerned about the amount of work involved or the amount of correction they will need to receive in the process. Adults, on the other hand, seem to shy away from learning because either (a) they don’t want to invest the effort anymore or (b) they fear the necessary correction that comes through the process.
Effective learning requires a measure of humility on the part of the learner. Certainly, children deal with their own issues of pride; however, there seems to be an aspect of innocence and humility in many children that slowly fades away as they get older. It’s like, once people graduate from high school or college, they think they somehow automatically now know it all and don’t need to learn anymore. They are too old for that.
I am learning to take a lesson from the children I teach: No matter how old we are, we must never lose our love for learning. Since when did learning become a chore, anyway? Why do we love the word learning when we are children, but we come to reject it as adults? Just like it was designed to be in elementary school, learning is supposed to be fun! If it isn’t, then we’re doing it wrong.
Let’s challenge ourselves to once again find the joy, excitement, and adventures in learning!