Someone said these.
“The greatest teacher, failure is.”
“You must unlearn what you have learned.”
Have you guessed I was quoting Yoda?
The great teacher tells us that the greatest lesson we can obtain isn’t learnt through class or books, but through failing. Making deliberate mistakes is the number one trick in a teacher’s book to keep the students engaged, scaffolding them to derive the right answer. The understanding is etched on a child’s mind more so than the repetitive method of writing the same 20x.
Humans are creatures of habits. As we leave our childhood behind, we master more functions and way of doing things that become habitual. We walk without tripping, we turn the door knob to open the door easily. We start to perform functions on reflex without thinking through our actions. Our habits, i.e. the routine things we do, may serve us well or in the case of bad habits, may impede our progress.
The World Economic Forum has a video on “Jobs Reset”, in which Code.org CEO shared how we may be teaching our children ‘useless knowledge, …and we should reimagine what they learn for the future.’
Yoda was right that most adults may have to unlearn what they learn, in order to relearn what it truly takes to succeed. We would have to learn to RE-imagine what the future jobs need.
But our children do not have to unlearn anything yet. They are growing up in the storm of a world jobs reset. It is the perfect opportunity to prime our child’s mind right from the start.
In my morning brain builder class this week, I discussed our weekly theme of ‘History’. The children and I learnt that history is simply an accumulation of stories that happened in the past. We had the chance to ask our parents on our name story, the Merdeka story and many more.
My story session this week was deliberately truncated. The children had to conclude a story for me and write their own ending to one. In the Halloween special today, we had a simple story of a fox who cried (not wolf, but) tiger to frighten the friends. We learnt to spot the missing clues that our eyes and ears didn’t pick up, and infer that the fox was lying.
As in life, we don’t always have the complete data to make the best decision and avoid mistakes. We shouldn’t train our child to answer to a question. It may be the greatest injustice we may do to a developing mind.
Instead, we foster a questioning mind in our child. We teach our child to ask the right question to obtain their data and make an informed decision. We teach them to learn through mistakes and formulate a better response next time. Most importantly, we teach our child to fill in the blanks (which happens often in life), trust their instinct and be flexible enough to pivot again when need be.
All of these mental skills can and must be taught. Intelligence can be trained.
Yoda said too, “Do or do not. There is no try.”
The children and I start our mornings with our daily positive affirmations. They are our commitment to create the type of days we want to lead. Our promise to ourselves gives us the power in realizing our intentions.
World Economic Forum is right that jobs are resetting but it may be very hard for many of us adults to imagine what the future brings, based on what we learnt in the past.
But don’t worry, our children at Trinity Kids have always found their compasses and mastered thinking out of the binary.
As we celebrated Halloween online today, our clever children learnt that when someone offers them ‘Tricks or Treats’, they can have both Tricks and Treats.
Children, don’t be afraid to challenge your brain, don’t be afraid to strive for all the treats.
Covid-19 is a short term inconvenience which closes one door, but opens many more windows. Our children gets the fresh start to set their own future jobs. They can have it all. Let's empower them so.