“The difference between ‘I know’ and ‘I get it’ is that you know what you have to change but you don’t get why you have to change it. Aim for ‘I get it.’ – Mariana Pan
Source: Get this
One of my biggest pet peeves growing up was having to do something without being given a reason why. “Because I said so.” was a favorite of my parents. I struggled with math; algebra in particular. I often asked my teacher why we needed to learn algebra. It wasn’t out of disdain, but rather out of my personal desire & need to operate with a purpose. It was a tool that facilitated my learning. The teacher took it as an insult, & therefore avoided me completely. I barely scraped by with D’s on my report card.
Years later, elbow deep in college algebra & panic, wondering if I would ultimately fail at a career in nursing because of my debilitating fear of algebra, I finally “Got it.” My head spun with the realization. It wasn’t so much about the numbers & letters; it was the thought process.
If my teacher had only told me that algebra was preparing me for critical thinking skills, I would have had that ‘Eureka’ moment years earlier. Before the D’s on my report card, the tears, & the anxiety that sent me to the school nurse during math class.
The mental road blocks I had suffered likely would have cleared almost immediately, had I understood that algebra was teaching me how to think; to problem solve, to delve into multi-level problems & to follow through an extended thought process. Remembering the values ‘a’ & ‘b’ represented & solving for ‘x’ were just a game. It was a class for brain development. Learning formulas & being able to apply them to different problems, learning to render a mathematical equation from a word problem, apply a formula, & find the answer…it was all mind games. It was not worth the tears. Knowing this now, as a Mother, before my children venture into learning math – LIFE IS GOOD. 🙂
The question my children most often ask me, at four & six years old, is, “Why…”
This question is so vital to every aspect of their development. I have only a few times caught myself in mid-sentence, spewing out the answer given by generations & generations of Moms & Dads before me,
“Because I said s….”
I have made it part of my duty to try to always give them a reason why they are doing something. I remember how much easier it was to learn something, remain motivated, follow directions, or just do what my parents asked me to when I knew why I had to do it; when I could see the big picture. When I teach them something, or when they come home from school with new knowledge, I don’t just want them to ‘know’ it, I want them to ‘get it.’ With a smile. With confidence, empowered with reason & motivation. They are not robots; they are people.
Life is so much sweeter when we ‘Get it.’ 🙂