This morning I learn about the exploration goals of the 3rd and 4th graders. If they could be explorers–anywhere–where would they go and why?
My daughter says, “I would explore the ocean depths to find sea glass, coral, and dolphins.” Her friend agrees, but he suggests that they explore the Bermuda Triangle for these things because you can always discover the lost city of Atlantis along the way.
I follow along, hands in my pockets, listening as the children describe, in specific detail, this exploratory trip. They will need underwater cameras and a submarine obviously. I hear the children talk about sea glass and how you never know what kind of object that glass came from. “It could have been on the Titanic, you know!”
Anything is possible.
Everyone walks much faster when we have these conversations. Nobody notices the freezing cold, and nobody complains about the slippery trek uphill. When we access the explorer in us, something changes.
The world, vast and unexplored, lies before me. I transform myself into an explorer: one who travels into unknown or less understood regions–physical, emotional, or spiritual regions.
I learn to inquire, take notes, preserve artifacts. Like a child dreaming of the depths of the sea, I experience the thrill of discovery. Anything is possible today.
Journal: Children are natural explorers. When I was a 3rd grader, I went on a field trip to Puget Sound in Washington. That day, I discovered a baby octopus. The teacher brought the entire class over to where I stood by the water, and I had the thrill of sharing my discovery. I love that explorer memory; it’s one of a dozen of special experiences of discovery. If I approach my day as child-like explorer, will that change my attitude regarding my tasks?