Sunday, June 28, 2009

Opportunity to Explore

I have a love-hate relationship with new experiences. Sometimes I find them very scary, other times I find them exhilarating.

Last night I sat down at my computer to work out a run that would fit my training requirements for today. It needed to be an 80 minute run - which I estimated to be about 13 kilometers at Penny-pace. I pulled up Map My Run and started marking out a route that one of my friends told me is very pretty, and sure enough, it was a perfect distance. Using Map My Run, I flicked over to the satellite image, as part of the run was through bushland. I tried to lock the images into my mind.

Today I headed off on the run with my iPhone in my pocket. (I love my iPhone). I listened to sermons from the Journey Podcast while I ran and took it at a fairly easy pace. I was doing pretty well until I headed into the bushland and then, of course, I couldn't be certain if I was on the right dirt track headed in the right direction. I pulled out my trusty iPhone and brought up the Maps Application, got it to find my current location, and then brought up the satellite image. Within seconds I could see where I was and find the way to where I wanted to be. I used this a couple of times along the journey to make sure I was still on track.

It felt great to be able to head off and explore a place new to me with the security of the GPS in my phone. I was able to explore without the anxiety of getting lost. And my friend was right - it was a really pretty run.

In terms of teaching, this made me realise how important it is that we provide students with opportunities to explore new things, to feel that exhilaration. And, to do this, we need to make sure we provide them with the tools to guide and encourage them along the way. We need to give them opportunities to problem solve without the anxiety.

What do you think? What have you found helpful in exploring new things and heading out on an adventure?

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