Have you spent time with a three year old lately? Three year olds have a wonderful curiosity about everything. They are always willing to jump in and try something new. And they are always excited to learn about the world around them. Plus, they have this delightful sense of self that allows them to be creative and fun with abandon.
I work with a class of three year olds, and I am always amazed by their fearless love of life and self-confidence. Each week we sing songs and learn new things. My favorite thing is to watch them sing and dance. One boy named William plays the air guitar like a rock star. A girl named Lexi spins and spins and spins and never seems to get dizzy and stumble. All children are born with a similar sense of wonder. As a teacher, it has always been my goal to make sure I tap into that innate curiosity and help my students find passion for something that they want to learn about every day.
Somewhere in the years between middle school, high school, college and life in general, something seems to happen to our sense of wonder. Maybe it is a bad experience that causes frustration. Perhaps we just don’t have time to focus on what we love because we are too busy running here and there. Or, a life event changes our course. I’m not sure why, but somehow we seem to lose our sense of wonder in the middle of life.
A sense of wonder and curiosity is important for all of us. It is never too late to learn something new. What are you passionate about? What do you value and care about? If you are thinking, “I always wanted to speak French,” or “I wish I knew how to grow tomatoes the way my grandfather did,” I say, “Why not?” It is time to jump in without fear and learn something new! Take a class. Read a book. Look up a how-to video on YouTube. Get on Pinterest! Visit with people who have similar interests and goals. Life is too short to be satisfied to sit back and wonder about what might have been. Use your sense of wonder actively and get out there to find an adventure while you learn something new.
At the moment, I’m trying to learn about how to use social media as a professional learning tool for myself and for my students. It is exciting to connect with educators from across the world and to see that our goals and challenges are similar. I am very new to Twitter; I didn’t understand what I was doing with it at first. What I learned is that I can connect instantly with people who share my interests and research projects. I plan to keep challenging myself to get out there and learn. What might you do next? Allow me to use my newfound social media skills to hear from you. You can find me on Twitter @laurenedmondson or Drury University School of Education and Child Development on Facebook. I encourage you to use your sense of wonder to guide yourself to something new. I can’t wait to see what you will do!