"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." - Lao Tzu. I've read and heard this many times. But all teaching efforts go for naught if said man has no interest in learning to fish.
We often ask the question, "Are heroes born or created?" or when it comes to a skill or trait e.g. artistry, "Are artists born or created?"; our Learners have discovered over the past sessions that, though nature does play a large part in a person's gifts, there's no substitute for hard work. We've witnessed skills and traits developing and growing every day. Basic ability is not the product of good genes, but hard work.
I was an average student and struggled with math. Decades later, a few months ago to be exact, I decided to re-discover math using a platform that our older Learners use for math. Since my foundation was so weak, I decided to start from the very beginning. As I was working through problems, I began to realize that this process was what I needed-learning with the motivation to learn and not just to pass a test. While I could memorize formulas, I was not good at algorithmic execution. I didn't understand how numbers worked together. Over the last few weeks, I've felt my "math muscles" getting stronger, building a better foundation than what I had before. Then, I was expected to keep up, to know enough to pass the test without having the time to understand concepts, without true mastery. Now, my goal is to understand and learn at my own pace. As I learn now, I find that I have this opportunity to enjoy the process. I now see math as the language of numbers (and should be learned that way). I think that the only reason why I struggled with math was because of how math was taught. I don't believe that people are just not good at math or numbers. Everyone can be good at math if they learn in a way that they can understand. Math ( and everything else for that matter) should be done from a place of understanding -- not memorization just to pass a test.
I am always inspired by our Learners, to see things from their perspective, to learn the way they learn, and to know that everything is achievable by working hard. Although it took me decades to get to this point in my learning journey, I am so grateful. This is what learning ought to feel like. Learning for the pure joy of learning. Exactly, how children should learn.