"I am not one who was born in the custody of wisdom. I am one who is fond of olden times and intense in quest of the sacred knowing of the ancients." Gustave Courbet

29 July 2021


I've taught nine to twelve year-old kids for seventeen years and I've yet to meet one whose curiosity was the product of teachers, grades, or a parent's overzealous social media posts. 

Wonder germinates through experience, trust, and independence; essential ingredients that are sorely lacking in schools.  Having had the experience of being left alone to wander, knowing that "it's an endless quest without knowing what the quest is", kids will figure "it" (and themselves) out.  As Secondari said, "Once you have tasted flight, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward."

I don't mean to imply that I am an expert.  The longer I'm around squibs, the more I understand that I haven't got a clue ("I get older and they stay the same age.")  But there are a few things I've noticed that will guide them away from learned helplessness ...
  • Don't give them answers.  Ask them questions.
  • Don't get frustrated and take over. Wink and encourage their unique approaches. Don't give in.
  • Trust the wonder of curiosity.  It's addictive.
  • Love.
"Nobody can decide what you will do except for you" ...

Being given an answer is passive.  Asking a question is active.  Remember e.e.cummings' advice ...

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