I used to teach 5th grade. The first year that I handed out locks for their lockers, I was in for a shock. I gave every kid a lock and the combination and said, "Go put these on your lockers!" Five minutes later, half the class was crying. Come to find out, they had never opened locks before. By my last year of teaching, I had "Lock Opening 101" down to a science. No tears and 10 minutes in, they all had their locks opened. It wasn't that I didn't know how to teach them how to open a lock, it was that I didn't know I needed to.
Last Friday was Clay's birthday. Wendy, our maid, has become a member of the family. We invited her to stay over for the birthday celebration, which included spending the night since it would be too late and dangerous for her to go home after the party.
Today she told me that on Saturday morning she had a cold shower. Now, had she been home, this would have made sense, because they do not have hot water in their house. But she was not at home, she was at my house and we do have hot water!
"Why?" I asked her and she proceeded to explain (in spanish).
She turned on the hot and it was very, very hot, so she turned it off. Then she turned on the cold and it was very cold, but she figured she could handle very cold better than scalding hot. She then proceeded to take a cold shower.
With a very puzzled look on my face I asked her why she didn't turn on the hot and cold water at the same time. At that moment, this adorable 25 year old Guatemalan young lady looked at me and said, "You can turn on the hot and cold water at the same time?"
After saying yes ten times and I'm sorry twenty times, I took her over to the kitchen sink and showed her how you can adjust the temperature, to which she replied with a big smile on her face, "I'm going to do that the next time!"
It wasn't that I didn't know how to teach her to use both the hot and cold water, it was that I didn't know I needed to. Boy, do I have a lot to learn!