This week I helped support an Environmental Camp for 10 elementary school students. The kids had a great time catching, observing, and releasing various insects, observing birds and wildflowers, feeding fish and turtles, and all in all having fun interacting with nature. We even got to meet a beekeeper with a hive and some bees and tasted fresh honey right from the honeycomb. We also had our own version of "Mythbusters" and proved that crickets really CAN tell us the temperature by counting their chirps.
As the week went on, I became aware of myself thinking aloud in front of the students "I wonder..." And I wasn't pretending, or putting on an act for the students, I truly DID wonder about 100 or so questions I had that I couldn't answer, like "do fish yawn", or "what do dragonflies eat?"
It made me think not only about how much I still have to learn, but also about how much I still ENJOY learning. Although I'm not in a classroom full time anymore, I would hope that when I was I modeled my curiosity and love of learning for my students. And maybe "model" isn't the right word because, in my mind, it somehow implies I'm faking it. I'm still, at age 47, filled with a sense of wonder at the big, wide, "wonder"ful world around me.
I hope the students I met this week encounter a teacher or have a parent or guardian that will instill in them the love of learning, a sense of wonder, and will be able to guide them to find the answers to their questions with the many incredible resources on the Internet. I wonder how they'll turn out???