Catering to the discovery

Do you remember the first time you got up and took a step. I’m talking about the very first time in your life you ever did that, you were a baby back then. I doubt most people have any memories of it. But I remember something similar. I remember my first born, Emmi, when she discovered she could stand up and move on her own. Oh, the face of my daughter with those emotions of triumph and fear, the irrepressible urge, the realization of her own audacity.

When  I give a student a new exercise, I have to pace myself. I do not always fully gauge how fun and interesting the new task is for them. Of course, I recall when I crafted those exercises, the little story they were telling, which piece they represented in the big puzzle of my teaching. But I sometimes forget the fun behind them, the curiosity of my student suddenly teased and piqued.

So, every time I propose something and I see the eyes of my pupil light  up, I force myself to take a back seat and let the player enjoy the moment. It is not easy because their enthusiasm is contagious. Some of them giggle, some of them comment, some of them give out little screams, most have a big smile on their face.

I find it one of the biggest reward of teaching, this ability to communicate the joy of the subject you happen to be passionate about. It’s the moment when the fire gets sparked in their heart, when my little contribution makes their interest grow.

I am thinking about that because my daughter rode a scooter for the first time yesterday. We were in the alley and before she climbed on the seat, I explained how the machine worked. I put an emphasis on the dangers of it, how to be safe, how to drive properly. I wasn’t trying to deter her from  driving it, that, I saw was nearly impossible. She wanted to try it, the thing screams of fun.

She went little by little further and further down the alley. My daughter is a creature who expresses herself without restrain. I could hear her holler and Woo-ing from 300 yards away. Here’s the general idea of her mood:


Well, all of the sudden, the discovery of the scooter wasn’t my story anymore. So, I took a chair and watched her going up and down our back alley, I let her take her time. That’s how a teacher shows his generosity, I guess: when he shuts up and let his student enjoy the moment she’s discovering.