As I was paddling around at the foot of Angel Falls this morning, (I confessed on Facebook that when I’m swimming laps, I imagine I’m in South America but don’t tell anyone,) I was concentrating on my stroke. Keep your head low….watch your stroke….
And I remembered Scott. Scott was a tri-athlete that used to work at our old sports club back in Montana. He was the pool maintenance man so we saw him regularly. When I asked him for a few pointers on lap swimming, he happily did so.
But what really endeared Scott to my heart was his willingness to indulge Daniel’s curiosity with the inner workings of the pool pump. At the time, Daniel was about five-years-old.
You might say that Scott was one of Daniel’s first teachers. Since that time, Daniel has been taught by a number of amazing plumbers, phone repairmen, antiques dealers, a phone expert….and an old guy who smokes way too many cigarettes. Electricians, banjo pickers, retired school teachers and most endearing, his 80-something-years-old Great Gramma. (Daniel chats with her on the phone almost every night.)
(Wouldn’t you love the benefit of drawing from the wisdom and experience of a Godly, loving woman who’s been around for over eighty years?)
I have learned from my boy that everyone you meet is a potential teacher. From the clerk at Wal Mart who has found a place of grace to live in in spite of the murder of his wife and children a few years ago….to my friends who’ve loved me at my worst. Or the bookkeeper that helped me with my first “real” job….or Scott. (I gave up on the kick turn a long time ago, Scott.)
I think one of the biggest casualties of institutionalized education or religion is it marginalizes the teacher resident in each and every human. Parents feel they’re not “qualified” to teach their own children. And believers who feel the pastor is the only one qualified to counsel them. (Good Lord, no wonder preachers get so burned out.)
This is such a losing proposition. We are wired to give and when we are withholding our life’s knowledge, experience and training in deference for one whom the Matrix has deemed “qualified,” everyone loses.
A wonderful thing happens when you begin to see the teacher resident in everyone. You see opportunity around every corner. And your respect and appreciation for people will go up. (Not to mention the other way around. How does it make you feel when someone asks for your advice on a matter?)
When I look at the young man Daniel is turning into I am astounded at the teachers God has brought to him.
And then I shudder thinking of what could have happened had I followed that pediatrician’s advice to “Get this child on medication and into a classroom as soon as possible.”
When Daniel is not being tutored by one of these amazing people he spends hours learning. I’d tell you what he’s up to but truth be told, I haven’t a clue because it’s all over my head.
Now that you’ve met a few of Daniel’s teachers, here’s a picture of his current classroom:
I don't think *this* is what that pediatrican had in mind, do you?
Filed under: education, Individuality, Labels are for Soup Cans, Personal development, Public schooling | Tagged: ADHD, educational models, Labels are for Soup Cans, learning differences, learning styles, teachers | 1 Comment »