In Deuteronomy 6, Moses addressed the nation of Israel and made a passionate plea to “impress” on the hearts of children core truths that relate to God’s character. Some translations use the phrase “teach diligently.” The phrase can also be translated to mean “to cause to learn.” He wasn’t advocating a lecture-based, Torah literacy program where a teacher’s responsibility ended once they presented the content.
What Moses knew was this. The role of a leader is not to simply present accurate information. The role of a leader is to keep presenting, to keep translating, to keep creating experiences until someone has learned what they need to know.
So your job is simple.
Know what can be expected of them and know how they think so they will hear what you say and know what to do.
ZERO TO ONE
Mental: The brain has 100 billion neurons (roughly the number of stars in the Milky Way), more than at any other time in life
Physical: Double their birth weight and learning to roll over
ONE & TWO
Mental: Understands roughly 70 words and learning to walk
Physical: Has grown to half their adult height and can follow two-part instructions
THREE & FOUR
Mental: Has one quadrillion (a thousand trillion) connections between brain cells (twice as many as an adult)
Physical: Can stand on one foot, jump, walk backward, and pedal a tricycle
K & FIRST
Mental: Draws a person (with a body), writes their name, and brushes their own teeth
Physical: Understands ironic humor, learning to read and tie shoes
SECOND & THIRD
Mental: Categorizes information and enjoys games with codes and puzzles
Physical: Understands different points of view
FOURTH & FIFTH
Mental: Masters hand-eye coordination and reads to learn instead of learning to read
Physical: Attention span increases up to 45 minutes, and the average girl begins puberty
Physical: The average boy begins puberty and gains 50% of their ideal adult weight during puberty (including an increase in lean muscle mass
Mental: Takes on an adult appearance, but the brain (prefrontal cortex) is still developing and will be for another 5+ years
Physical: A majority will develop acne as a result of hormonal changes
Just remember, when you understand the way a kid’s mind is changing, you stand a far better chance of identifying clues that help you know what they are thinking, conveying a message they can understand, and laying a foundation for later learning.