A treasure of great value is the gift of wonder and awe that we are born with. But the nightmare we fear is to awake to the realization that our child or student has misplaced their wonder. Are you filled with terror at the thought of this nightmare? I am, for them and for myself.
Building a life that fosters, encourages and protects wonder and awe is the solution. And as always, we must posses these treasures if they are to be shared with our students.
Fostering wonder and awe in ourselves begin in the virtue of humility, we must know truly who we are before God and others. When we acknowledge our rightful place in the order of things, we recognize the rightful place of things. We start to see the world around us and recognize its connectedness. Pray for humility and grab a magnifying glass or set of binoculars and start looking. Curiosity didn’t kill the cat.
Encouragement has so much to do with setting the atmosphere. When the atmosphere and environment are unhurried, ordered, simple and cheerful, wonder and awe have fertile soil to grow in. This applies externally in the “school room” as well as internally in the heart of the educator, maybe even more. Having accessible the tools that encourage wonder and awe, like a magnifying glass, pencils and paper to note your findings, a schedule that honours the time wonder and awe need and puts them in a place of importance in your day, some one to share your discoveries with, to name a few. It doesn’t have to be formal or long, just enough time to wake the sleeping giant.
Protect that which has value. Wonder and awe in ourselves is one of the keys to mastering our craft. We have not arrived, we do not know enough or understand sufficiently the truth, beauty and goodness that this life possesses. And we will not come to know it if we are not full of wonder and awe. Push yourself to the learning edge, possess more wonder than yesterday, attend to its growth, cultivate the soil, put up barriers to the storms which destroy it. Do these things for yourself and you will be an example for your students to follow, to imitate. You will be cultivating the educator and the students will flourish.