I once heard that we all have two minutes of stupidity each day. I am the first to admit that I may exceed the two-minute mark daily. I once thought I knew it all… then, I got married.
Now, I have know-it-all children. They can make the fourteen remotes we have for the TV work; they can hook up the Wii and Xbox correctly, and they can utilize apps on the Ipad. My children make fun of me for being a slow learner when it comes to technology.
However, I get my revenge! I like to turn off all of the digital clocks and ask them, “What time is it?” I also like to hide the toilet paper under the sink in the bathroom None of my children have the ability to look for it, let alone put a new roll on the roller. Yes, Evil is my middle name!
The classroom is the same as life. I remember when I first began teaching, I tried to encourage students who kept asking questions by saying, “There is no such thing as a stupid question.” Now, I realize that statement is a lie. The truth is “there is no such thing as a stupid question, but there are stupid people.”
For example, I was sitting at my computer when an administrator walked into my classroom to ask me if I could help her write a “Whereas document.” Most people would call it a “proclamation.” I asked her why she came to me? She thought I might teach students how to do it. Astonished, I informed her that “whereas documents” are not on the Ohio Graduation Test, and I teach to the test.
While we were discussing her dilemma, I was multi-tasking and utilized the 21st century technology and skills our school is pushing. I researched how to write a proclamation and printed a sample for her. As she was leaving to go find another teacher, I told her to stop by the printer to get the example. I could see the light bulb turn on when she realized she could have done this herself. The funny thing is she is a brilliant person; she just had her two minutes of stupidity with me that day.
What lesson do we learn here? Learning happens after mistakes. The administrator learned she can do her own research before she walks around trying to get help from someone. If this incident would have been between a student and me, I would have had the student do the research on the computer. I would not give a standardized test and ask if she knew where the “enter” key was. I would let her learn by doing.