The other day my wife told me I think too much. But not like the “you’re thinking about it too much” type of way. This was a more direct statement. Like, she was saying that I literally spend too much time thinking. And she was right. I do think too much. I’ll just sit somewhere, frozen, and think and forget that I’m supposed to be doing something else. Or a whole drive home can go by in the blink of an eye because I was deep in thought about who-knows-what (was I even watching the road?). Sometimes I can’t fall asleep because my thoughts are making me talk too loud to myself. Borderline crazy??
No, I don’t think I’m crazy. I think I just LIKE to think! And the reason why I like to think is that it usually leads me to something new, something I haven’t thought of before but I know is right, or good, or makes sense. Like I was just sitting there thinking and then I thought something that would be an awesome tweet or quote from a movie or something I should totally say in class someday or whatever. Like, whoa, good job man, what a great thought to think! That’s how I am. And I wonder what thinking is like for other people cause for me its funny and enlightening and refreshing and organizing and sometimes a little scary, but always something. Like I’m traveling down my thinking road and sometimes I just get exactly where I wanted to go and other times I’m somewhere else that’s awesome! It’s so fun!
And I assume that’s not very unique because I don’t consider myself to be some intellectual outlier, but I know thinking is different for my students. I know this because they don’t seem to like it as much.
So what is thinking like for them? Maybe they don’t like thinking as much as I do because they haven’t gotten very good at it yet. Maybe they aren’t very confident that their thought roads will go anywhere so they don’t really try to explore them for fear that they just dead end somewhere pointless. How can I make them better at thinking? How can I give them confidence that they can be productive thinkers? How can I convince them that thinking is a vehicle for learning and they have the ability to take the wheel? This will be a main goal for me going forward and I hope I can come up with a few successes to share here. Looks like I’ll have to put a lot of thought into it. Should be fun!