Remembering What it’s like not to Know

Years ago, I heard a teacher tell a story about how she used students in her class to help other students with new concepts. One child in particular had a knack for helping others understand difficult math concepts. When the teacher asked the child how he was so good at helping the others, he casually explained, “I remember what it’s like not to know“. That perspective from one who had recently learned a concept was crucial in helping other students make that transition to understanding. I think sometimes as adults, we forget what it’s like not to know.

Recently, I started a new blog on WordPress. I had been using Blogger for the past four years and thought that a change in format and design was in order. Now, I assumed that this would be a pretty easy transition from one platform to another. I was wrong. Everything was different.  I found myself spending hours on things that used to take me minutes, I spent evenings online with tech support, and I called friends who used this platform.  It was essentially starting from scratch. Some days I feel satisfied with my new learning and other days I question my decision to switch! While the process has been tedious at times, it has helped me push my learning and helped me to be more patient and understanding when helping others learning to blog.

As educators, we need to remember what it’s like not to know. Let’s face it, most of us are in education because we liked school. We were good at it! We need to put ourselves in the shoes of the students that struggle at school, who need extra help, or lack support outside of school. One of the best ways we can do that is to try new things and push ourselves out of our comfort zones. When we are pushing our own learning, it helps us support students to do the same. As I have recently realized, learning is messy and sometimes slow. Help students to learn that this is normal, but that the results are always worth it in the end. Have you pushed your learning lately? 


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“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” – Mahatma Gandhi

“Change is the end result of all true learning.” – Leo Buscaglia

“A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer.” – Bruce Lee


  • Tuesday, August 29: Building PD at Buchanan 8:00-11:00 & 12:30-3:30
  • Wednesday, August 30: District PD at Various Locations 8:00-11:00 & 12:30-3:30
  • Thursday, August 31: Teacher Work Day
  • Tuesday, September 5: Students Return (12:10 pm dismissal)
  • Thursday, September 14: Open House/Curriculum Night 6:00-7:30 pm


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2 thoughts on “Remembering What it’s like not to Know

  1. Hi Jon! You may not remember me but we used to lifeguard together. I have been teaching kindergarten for the past 20 years.
    Enjoying your blogs and this one really speaks to me. Spent 4 days last week working with a new phonics program (Logic of English). It was like learning a foreign language!
    Thankfully it will be implemented ESD wide so we will have lots of support. Being willing to step out and try something new is so much easier when you have colleagues walking with you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Andrea,
      Yes, I remember you!! Where are you teaching at? It’s so good to hear from you and I’m so glad you enjoy the blog posts. It means a lot! Great to connect again:) Jon


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