Think Again

When students confront complex problems, they often feel confused. A teacher’s natural impulse is to rescue them as quickly as possible so they don’t feel lost or incompetent. Yet psychologists find that one of the hallmarks of an open mind is responding to confusion with curiosity and interest. One student put it eloquently: “I need time for my confusion.” Confusion can be a cue that there’s new territory to be explored or a fresh puzzle to be solved.

The “I need time for my confusion.” quote is brilliant. How can we make time for our confusion? What are some ways we can process the information and then apply it when it is all sorted?
Journaling or blogging is a good start for me because it assists me in reflection. It is based on experience and driven by knowledge. Writing what I know or have learned about is refreshing. Even the fictitious Sherlock Holmes needed time to sort out confusion:

“It is quite a three pipe problem and I beg that you won’t speak to me for fifty minutes.”

Sherlock Holmes, The Red Headed League

That does it for me the next time I have confusion. I’ll grab my tobacco pipe and have a think while I walk for fifty minutes to sort it all out.