Stack of pottery

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.

Detail of Plate Swirl

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