Monday, January 22, 2007

The Human Brain

Do you ever stop to marvel at what our brains are capable of doing? Think about that while I give you some background to where this is going...

I teach first grade. I taught fifth grade last year (Ugh), and quickly learned that the younger ones are my cup of tea. So, I work with little 6 and 7 year olds all day long. In addition to my first graders, this spring I am coaching 9 fourth and fifth graders in an elementary school version of Academic Decathlon. It's actually proving to be quite fun.

I was amazed by something today. All day long I spend my time helping first graders read words like, "cat", "pot", and "cake." This afternoon I sat down with my fourth and fifth graders, and I found myself explaining "maritime technology." (Side note: I am not exactly a naval buff, so I must admit this was slightly challenging.) Immediately, I was struck by how drastically the human brain changes in the three years between first grade and fourth. If I asked my first graders to even begin to understand "maritime technology" they would probably cry from frustration. If I was feeling adventurous I might be able to get them to clap out the syllables, but that would be the climax of our time spent on "maritime technology." My fourth and fifth graders, however, were eating it up! That thought is sounded really cool. Their brains were practically begging for more information!

How can our brains do this? I have no idea! But, I do know that we have one amazing God that made our brains capable of taking in that much knowledge in a relatively short span of time without exploding!

"I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made."