Friday Two Cents: Theory Is Great But Experience Is Greater


This has been my second week in full day kindergarten and it still amazes me how things do not change.  I’m talking about the parents; the children are the same no matter what happens. 

I am talking about parent’s reactions to the whole idea of school.  We have all gone through it and we know what to expect, but parents are all the same.  I would imagine parents from the 50s would have had the same reaction to their little babies heading to school, as parents do today.

I guess the desire to protect and cherish their children is a natural instinct for people.  I have seen parents in different settings, leaving their children in schools and childcare centres and it is all the same. 

I do not have any children (yet), but I think I can sympathize with parents.  I have a little niece starting school for the first time this year and I admit to some anxiety.  It was different from when she started daycare.  There I knew she would be safe and looked after, but school or more specifically kindergarten is a different level. 

Perhaps it’s me realizing my little sweetie is growing up and she is going to, as she put it ‘big girl school’.  I still remember when I first held her when she was only a few hours old and when I held at her baptism as her Godfather.  Both times I made a promise to myself and God; that I would protect this little person, that no harm will come to her, that I would give my life for her. 

Now she is heading to school where I cannot help her, that she has to start fending for herself.  My little sweetie must become a big girl. (sniff)  I never realized these feelings before. 

I see parents crying and feeling anxiety about their child.  I as a teacher try to alleviate their concerns and it does hurt when the child cries and I truly want to help them.  But only in resent years do I truly understand what parents are feeling. 

Amazing.  I have decades of teaching experience and education under my belt and even now I can learn something new.  And I am not talking about theories or academic learning, I am talking about life experience.

I have been saying for years that theory is great but nothing beats experience.  Many of my professors, peers and even my ex. may think and say that academia is the true measure of a person.  But I remember my experiences and I respond with this phrase:

“You may have your fancy degrees, but I out trump you.  You see I have a Doctorate from the University of Life, several degrees from the School of Hard Knocks, and three gold stars from the kindergarten of Having the Shit Kicked Out of Me.  Which makes me a well-rounded human being.”  

So I say theory is wonderful and you should learn as much as you can.  But never underestimate experience.  This is what makes us truly human. 


2 Responses to Friday Two Cents: Theory Is Great But Experience Is Greater

  1. cav12 says:

    Quite a different experience when the child goes to high school! Lovely post Paul. 🙂

    • Paul Gauchi says:

      Yes, I would imagine. My ex-girlfriend is a highschool teacher and when she discribed specific situations it was totally different than what I have to go through. Mind you in Canada highschool starts in grade 9 and they are somewhat lost like the JKs in kindergarten and the parents are a bit protective too. She would tell me stories about what parents would say, just like kindergarten parents.
      But I see them as young adults wanting the responsibility of adulthood and trying to to be independent. Hmm just like the kindergartens.

      Thank you for the kind comments.

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