Let Your Students Inspire You

Something new I am trying to do this semester is to not teach as much. Hmm. Does that sound bad? As a teacher it’s in my blood to correct every mistake, or tell them my knowledge about a certain subject. Obviously, students need to understand and know math concepts, and how to read and write, etc. But I feel like there are so many things I tell them, that are my truths. They could be real and all, but my students might find a better way to explain it or think about it.

I heard a story once (I have no idea from whom, or if it is even true, but it as stuck with me for years) that the man who invented the door to washing machines sat on his floor and thought forever about how a penguin would open a door, and that was how he came up with the handle.

Do I ever give my students the time to sit and think about how penguins open doors?

I am not sure if you have guessed by now, reading this blog by Jee Young and I— but everything we do is inspired by our faith in God. My church here in Seoul has a theme for every year. 2013 is the year of Inspiration. I am realizing this is seeping into my teaching life as well. I want to inspire my children, and I often realizing that they inspire me more. The ideas they think of, the solutions they come up with- they are usually pretty brilliant.

I am learning not to shut them down even if they don’t give what I think is the right answer. Instead of telling them the “right” thing, I am asking them how they came up with their ideas. I still correct them, and I correct them often, but this is a start.

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My students inspire me every day.

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