Swimming Lessons

Sunday afternoon, 90+ degrees and two cranky kids.  We headed to the pool.  I made 3 very interesting observations.  Thanks to Garr Reynolds’ book Presentationzen Design, I was reminded just today to: “…notice the lessons.  But in order to see and take note, you have to be aware.  Awareness is the first step to personal kaizen [Japanese term meaning ‘improvement’]….Find a time during which you can slow down long enough to see the lessons around you and take special note of them.”  The local pool was the perfect observation station.  Here’s what I got:

1) A toddler WILL figure out a way to open the gate because he/she desperately wants on the other side.

2) A patron knows that there are chemicals in the pool but still can’t help but be horrified when they see the actual bleach being dumped in next to their swimming child.

3) Children love to show off, whether it is a new scar on their foot or a skill they just picked up from swimming lessons.

What lessons did I learn from those observations that I can relate to education?

1) If a child has a personal connection to finding the answer, they will stay determined enough through the learning process (failures, setbacks, frustration) to see it through to the end.

2) Adults like to stick their heads in the sand.  We like to have things done for us but we don’t want to know the messy details on how it happened or occurred.

3) Showcasing is key.  Kids love to brag and be in the spotlight.  If we can focus that energy and motivation towards a passion project, kids will make amazing things, be amazing and that amazing energy will spread.

Slow down, take it in, learn.

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1 Comment

  1. You’ll have to give me more details on the bleach being dumped in the pool next to the swimming child. I would be horrified as well – going back to my head gaurd days at a water park and dealing with those chemicals daily — that’s dangerous and could cause a severe reaction both in the lungs and on the skin, dangerously severe. I’ve never known of a pool to put chemicals in water in close proximity to swimmers, let alone while people are in the pool at all. I know the details weren’t necessarily your point. I get your point and love your application back to learning – LOL – just thought maybe I’m picturing the scene incorrectly. 😉

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