Slow Learner
By Moshe Katz
Israeli Krav International

December 7, 2017, Israel and Miami

Looking back with the perspective of years I think about the slow learners and the fast learners, or the "Quicker Picker Upers".

The fact is it does not really matter how long it takes you to learn something, it only matters how dedicated you are to learning. As they say "Time will tell".

The "Slow Learners" are made to feel bad, made to feel stupid. The problem is the teacher, not the student. As Arik Einstein wrote, "Drive Slowly" (Sah Le'at in Hebrew) and get there safe and enjoy the ride. Why is the slower learner made to feel stupid?

All this accomplishes is that it frustrates the learner, he feels he is holding the group back, now he is getting more stressed and this only slows him down further.

What is the rush? Time passes so quickly and it is wasted by people who are always in a hurry to pass the time.

Slow down! As we say in Hebrew Sah Le'at.

I have never been a fast learner but I have always been very thorough. I am never ashamed to tell my childhood stories; Third grade, 23 kids in the class, including the girls. Choosing sides for soccer, always a terrifying experience, no one wants to be last.

I am chosen 23 and since it is an odd number the teacher puts my name on the board in parenthesis, i.e. it does not matter what team Moshe is on, he will never come close to the ball anyway.

Hmm...makes me laugh now. Black Belt Hall of Fame, international instructor of the year twice, magazines, TV interviews..etc etc, not to brag but to inspire, I was chosen 23 out of 23 so how bad can you be?

Do not make anyone feel bad just because the way they learn is different than the way you learn. We all have different ways of learning. I like to learn slowly, one step at a time, and no, I am not stupid, or "Slow".

High school, Miami, oh how the years fly, with Gary, Kenny, Josh and Joel. Playing football, a game I am not familiar with. Coach shouts some vague instructions, go long, cut left.  I do not really understand, so I take a moment to review his instructions. Coach turns towards one of the other guys, "Is this guy slow or what?"

The guys respond, "No, actually he is the top Talmud student in the school, he is just thorough, he wants to make sure he understands."

Coming home from great seminars in Brazil, stop off in Miami, I meet a dentist named Nick. Turns out he knows some of my classmates from those days. The memories surface, back in high school.

Don't call me slow. Sah le'at, drive slowly.

We each learn differently, let each student grow and learn his own way, some by touch, some by sound, some by sight, some fast, some slow.

The time flies, we learn lessons, fast, slow, what does it matter, time takes care of all. In a year what difference will it make, who will remember.

Patience is the greatest teacher. And I as I pass through Miami I see my parents as they were 39 years ago, and I wonder about time. Everything exists on a parallel plane, sah le'at, drive slowly. Learn your own way.

Don't call me slow.

"Don't worry, they will not start without us" (Arik Einstein)

Teach correctly and your students will soon be flying, give them wings, give them confidence, let them find their own way within your way. And, go slowly if need be.

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