Thursday, October 15, 2009

Scrambled Eggs

I never thought that a video of a little kid making scrambled eggs could teach me so much about, well, teaching. ("What a Difference a Few Years Makes," October 14, 2009, Notes from the Trenches)

As soon as I clicked play, I instantly freaked out in something to the tune of, "ACK SALMONELLA MESS STICKY MESS SALMONELLA LITTLE KID ACK!!!"

I followed that thought with, "Lady, what is wrong with you? You are letting your probably two-ish year old crack eggs, undoubtedly making tons more work for you. Don't you have like 10 kids or something? Isn't there enough work to do? What if he tips over that whole bowl of eggs? That will be wasteful and tremendously messy. You are going to have to sit there and pick out pieces of shell. That takes FOREVER and is so annoying. You're going to have to rinse off all those other unused eggs and hose down your kid before he touches anything because eggs are full of germs. Lady, you are crazy."

And then, as I watched this supposed train wreck, the tiny little kid actually got good at it. He wasn't really making so much of a mess. He could crack eggs with one hand!

This is the hardest part to me about teaching.

I want kids to learn quickly, easily and efficiently. Anyone who has ever taught anyone anything- let alone taught middle school students- knows that you have to be living on some crazy unknown planet of perfection for it ever to go that way. So clearly, I know it doesn't ever go the way I want it to go. My patience has increased amazingly over the past years. Yet I know that one of my biggest flaws as a teacher is I tend to want to fix things too quickly for my students. I tend to want to feed them answers too quickly in discussions instead of allowing things to get a little messy first so they can figure it out themselves.

Because, you see, I hate messes. A messy house is one of the biggest stressors in my life. I don't even like messy food; ribs, wings, and other sticky finger-foods are a no-go for me. I like order, ease, and simplicity. Who doesn't? This is why the fact that we are finally getting new carpet installed next week is pretty much changing my life.

I'm glad that God is ok with messes. Loves them, actually. Ever seen the way a burned down forest replenishes itself? Beauty for ashes, baby! Yet I get so frustrated with Him when He doesn't swoop down and scoop me up instantly out of something hard, something painful, something messy. Sometimes I just want to scream, like a toddler, "Lord, you are CRAZY!"

But then He answers, "No, baby girl, you do it. It's ok to make a mess. I'm right here. I made those eggs, I gave them to you. I gave you the bowl. I want you to do it, and I'm here to keep you from falling off the counter. You make your mess. I'll clean it up, I'll clean you up, just like I've always done. Keep breaking those eggs, and soon you'll get it. Then we can move on to frosting!"

I know this will be so incredibly hard for me someday as a parent. I will want to rush in and save the day every time instead of letting my kids get a little down and dirty first. I don't want to be so afraid of messes that I miss out on opportunities to let my kids learn their life lessons. Hopefully I'll be smart enough to be a little crazy.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous9:34 AM

    Girl, this is an echo of my own heart. I like order, I love organization, and I hate messes. I chuckled at your statement about not liking messy food - me neither and I've never noticed it before this post! Thanks for being honest. :) Love ya.


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