What “Live the Learning Moments” Means to Me

In high school, I had the opportunity to volunteer in my younger brother’s 3rd grade classroom.  His (quite brave) teacher, allowed me to teach a lesson to the class.

I don’t remember what I taught, except that it was a math lesson.  I don’t remember the overall success of the lesson—honestly it probably needed to be retaught after I left.  I don’t remember any of the kids’ names (obviously my brother is excepted from that).

BUT, I do remember one little girl.  This one child impacted the entire direction of my life.  She had strawberry blonde hair, freckles and bright blue eyes.

After I finished the “presentation” part of the lesson, I walked around the room and helped students with their work.  This little girl was very confused, and I could tell immediately that she was frustrated.

I crouched next to her, and we worked together.  It took a few minutes, but she was beginning to understand.

Then out of nowhere, she looked up at me.  Her mouth curved upward in a half-moon grin.  Her bright blue eyes sparkled.  She literally beamed, “I get it!”

It almost felt like I could, for just a nanosecond, see her future.  I could see her God-given greatness and potential.

I was hooked.  I had to be a teacher.

Training to become a teacher, I spent time learning about learning.  The way I saw it, I was learning how to recreate those moments—the ones where a proverbial light bulb “turns on” in a child’s face.  And I was definitely chasing that.

When I interviewed with the school I ended up teaching at, I asked the team members I’d be working with what their teaching philosophies were.

I’ll never forget the answer one of them gave me, “I believe every kid can learn.  It’s my job to figure out how.”  I was intrigued.  I interpreted what she said as every kid can have that light bulb moment.  It rang true with the way I see the purpose of life—as one great learning experience.

I spent the next four years under her—and other teachers’—tutelage.  I learned massively more in those four years than I ever learned in college.

But I wondered.  If every kid can learn, if every person comes here with infinite potential, why do some kids show up to school day in and day out with what seems like a diminished capacity?  It’s a question that gnawed at me for years.

My husband finished college, and I decided to stay home with our first-born.  I began attending playgroups; interacting with families on a more personal level.  Over the period of 5 to 6 years, the answer slowly came to light.

I watched as some families I knew sent their kids to school ready to reach their potential.  And I watched as others believed their children were incapable of learning.  Eventually, the full answer dawned on me: IT’S LIFESTYLE.

If you plant a seed in sand or clay, it will struggle to grow into a strong, healthy plant.  That doesn’t make it a bad seed.  It means the soil needs some work.  And guess what!  Here’s the best part: WE CAN FIX THAT!

Not every seed (or child) is going to turn out the same way.  There are pumpkin plants and strawberry plants, and though they are different, they both give value and variety to our diets.  I think we could all agree we wouldn’t want to eat only pumpkin day after day after day.

My goal with Live the Learning Moments is to help parents intentionally build learning into their family culture.  I want to help parents cultivate the minds of their children in a way that encourages potential-reaching.

All kids have been blessed with God-given greatness.  And they were sent to you, so you could help them unlock it.