It is easy when you are a teacher, an expert, surrounded by other experts we defer to each other as writers of the grade level newsletter or calculators of recent fundraiser and feel smart amongst each other. Very smart. And when it has been awhile since you’ve been outside that environment you forget. You forget that you are teacher/school/book smart and there are all kinds of smart outside your bubble.

Through a fortunate accident I was able to help my son and husband today. Not because of how smart I was at something. Rather Inspite of my extensive, college-bought knowledge. It was a kids automobile race. And if you suddenly are counting all the posts I’ve written on that subject you are approaching the feeling of horror I had when I agreed to accompany him since my husband could not.

Although my husband wrote me detailed directions, although he lined up two buddies to help me I was still nervous.  At one point I asked his friend to fasten my sons safety belts because I was shaking so terribly. I had help adjusting air pressure, removing and reinstalling a restrict or plate, and with those belts. Mostly I just got sunburned.

So here I am, an arguably smart person, and I was reduced to stereotypes I would encourage my children to avoid. What happened? I think I experienced a little taste of what it is like for many of our students to come to school. I have known about many students who were smart outside of my classroom, but struggled to translate that to the academic arena. I have a feeling there were many more I did not “catch.” I told them, and their parents, that doing well in school does not equal doing well in life and vise versa.

But to live it humbles you and it stings a little more than my sunburn.

That’s a good lesson gong into two days of intensive learning for me.