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  • Writer's pictureLuke Miller

Opening gates for Papa

I am observing so many great memories being created during ‘back-up’ child care days.

When tummy pains kept my seven year old daughter Olive home this week, it created some household stress, related to the last minute problem-solving.

Luckily Olive’s grand-’Papa’ was able to make space in his farming routine to provide child care services.

As the text images from Papa appeared throughout the day, it struck me as to how many great ‘firsts’ were coming out of this alleged sick-day.

The first time using a real knife to cut bale wrap.

The first ‘knife-cuts’ to a hand. (small ones!)

The first time ‘driving’ the tractor.

The first time opening gates up for the tractor.

The first time meeting Papa’s new puppy HOSS

And I’m sure there were many more.

The precious timing of Olive’s experiences seemed to link so fluidly with a short online course I am completing about pedagogy and the learning process. (Seth Godin on learning and education).

The idea that learning flows out of ‘doing’ rather than ‘observing’ is so important and yet so often overlooked, in society and even in our education system.

The fact that Olive got a chance to ‘do’ so many of the things that were normal parts of my own childhood really made me reflect on ways in which I may intentionally make more of these hands-on learning opportunities.

From struggling with heavy gate chains, to traversing paddy-filled corals, the on-the-job real life farm training may be impossible to fully replicate, but we can sure try.

Make space for the people around you to muck through a little hard work, give them the room to try out their own ‘first-experiences’.

From colleagues to students to loved-ones, let’s do less preaching and more doing,

and hopefully it won’t take a ‘sick-day’ to make it happen.

  • Now that’s a peak ethos!

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