asking questions can be so powerful.
questions are the bridge between confusion and clarity. chaos and calm. problem and solution. unknown and known.
questions help us build knowledge, use knowledge, and share knowledge.
things you can learn by questioning: what song is #1 in the United States right now? how long does it take to drive from Waukee to San Diego? how many inches of snow did we get last winter (too many)? what is the most popular baby name? what are the three states of matter?
these are all questions that anyone can use Google to answer. questions that have instant answers from the small, handheld, electronic devices that are glued to our hands/hips/pockets. they are usually research-based.
it’s a running joke in our classroom that if my students ask me a question, i respond with, “that sounds like a good research question.” not because i don’t know (let’s face it, that’s usually why), but because i want to continue to foster their curiosity to finding answers.
the other day, i started thinking about the power that lies within asking questions and which questions are actually worth asking. i build my classroom environment based solely on the philosophy of making it feel like a home away from home, a second family, a safe place – which doesn’t always mean it’s peaceful or happy or serene. and as i pondered HOW i build that environment for my students, i realized it’s all through questioning. now questioning comes with the territory of being an educator. if i kept track of how many questions i asked or answered in a single day, i’d fill an entire spiral notebook – possibly more… but when i think about the process by which i create a home in room 402, these are the questions i ask my students. these are the questions that i consider important. questions to which you can’t just Google an answer.
what makes you – you?
what passions do you have?
what do you need?
what makes you happy?
what are you going to do today to be better?
how have you shown kindness lately?
what are you worried about?
what’s weighing on your mind and heart today?
in the moment, they seem like small questions – but over time, they show my colleagues and my students that i care about their hopes, dreams, highs, lows, and mostly: who they are.
i want to set a personal goal to ask more of these important questions. not only to my students, but to everyone i meet. i want to know what makes your eyes light up. i want to know what gives you butterflies. i want to know what makes your heart beat faster. i want to know what makes you jump up and down – cry, laugh, skip, dream, wonder.
these important questions make us self-aware, encourage us to go outside our comfort zone, and help us connect with others.
what are the ways that you connect with others? what are YOUR important questions?