Curiosity Killed The Cat
Curiosity killed the cat. This old adage certainly suggests curiosity is something to avoid at all costs. Most parents joke about the number of questions their toddlers ask in a day......or an hour! They are full of curiosity about the world around them. Again, we often joke about looking forward to this stage ending as though their curiosity is annoying at best. While these questions can be annoying, I believe curiosity should actually be encouraged at any age. The one question I often asked as a middle school teacher was why so many students accepted the answers and had no further follow up questions? Why had they lost their curiosity? Apparently, I am a naturally curious person because I have been teaching for longer than I care to admit and yet, I still have questions about what I do, why I do it, and if what I do is working the way it was intended for all of my students. I believe I have developed strong teaching skills and strategies for helping all kinds of students due, in large part, to that curiosity. But this isn't about me, it's about students! It is important for us to nurture their curiosity and encourage those questions as they grow older. Curious students learn all the time, not just 180 days a year. Curious people learn everywhere, not just in a classroom. When students are encouraged to explore their curiosities, they are enthusiastic about learning. Get your children outside and give them time to observe; they will become curious about their surroundings which will lead to all kinds of questions. If encouraged to explore these questions, who knows where their findings will lead them. Innovation begins with curiosity!
I had the opportunity to hike to the top of South Twin Mountain on an absolutely gorgeous day recently. As I sat on a rock at the summit looking at all of the peaks in front of me, I was in awe of the beauty. Then it struck me that I have been traveling to New Hampshire to these mountains all of my life and yet, I know
so very little about most of them. I did not know until listening to a thru hiker that afternoon that the Sandwich Range sits right between the Presidential and Franconia Ranges. I have a picture in my mind of Mt. Washington to my left and Mt. Lafayette to my right that will remain with me forever. Whether researching best teaching practices or the peaks of New Hampshire, I remain curious about so many things. Let's encourage children and young adults to be curious, to learn wherever they are. When you ask how their day was at school, ask about something they learned, something that surprised them, or something they have more questions about.....and get them outside!!!