I have been doing lots of contemplating on the topic of learning and teaching lately. I have been thinking alot about how we become the sort of person we want to be. Thinking about how our upbringing and the people in our lives influence us, both positively and negatively. I have been pondering my own role as a teacher and as a leader amongst my peers as well as a mother of teenage girls. Phew, that's a lot of thinking!
Cath's post Teaching Little Girls focuses on self-esteem in her young daughter and has inspired me to contemplate the growing of self esteem in girls a bit further along in their development. Once again the theme of growing up too quickly is relevant. It is so important to enable lots of experiences, to encourage learning, to focus on effort and to accept that mistakes are made. All the while promoting positivity and showing pride. Challenging, indeed, whether dealing with a preschooler or a teenager.
My oldest daughter, 16 has just started learning how to drive. Although she was eligible to go for her learners 9 months ago, she has only just recently sat the test. I wanted her to be involved in the process, not just rely on me to make the appointment for her, as a part of learning how to take responsibility for her self. As I sat and waited for her I watched three other young people that were not successful in their tests. I thought about how I would feel if she were to fail, and what I would say to her. I watched how those young people reacted to their disappointment and how their loved ones responded. I was so pleased that she had a successful outcome.
So far I have taken her for 2 "lessons" in the carpark of the McDonalds where she works. She has taken to it quite well as we have explored the delicate relationship between the clutch and the accelerator. Yesterday she had her first lesson with an instructor and the feedback was all positive, but there is a long road to travel.
The journey from child to adult is also a long and winding road. There is so much to learn along the way. I worry that I have not taught enough of what is important but I also know that she also has to find her own way.
Tonight she actually counted up how many days until she turns 18....apparently it is only 457 days.