While I was getting ready to go to a pottery workshop, I was thinking about all the opportunities that I have had to be in the instructor role. This weekend, I am looking forward to being a student.
I have had many teaching opportunities – community college instructor, pottery instructor, bible study leader, manager. I have taught a lot of people a diversity of subjects. I enjoy teaching but I’ve noticed that it is difficult for adults to be put into situations where they don’t know anything. As adults, we usually have a frame of reference to which we cling that will give us some sense of competence. To that end, it is difficult for adults to learn because learning requires humility.
What I have realized from these observations is that in order to learn new things, I have to accept where I am. I can’t get hung up about what I ‘should know’ or that it ‘should be easier’. And, I need to ignore the discomfort of not knowing in order to allow myself to learn. I can’t learn what I already know.
None of these observations are new – in fact Proverbs is clear that a mark of wisdom is teach-ability. “Hear instruction, be wise, and refuse it not.” Proverbs 8:33