Have a look around your school and ask yourself, “Are they a learner?”
I wonder how many teachers you would find that are real genuine learners.
We talk an awful lot about our students being ‘life-long learners,’ what about us as teachers?
While learning can look and feel differently for everyone, for me, it all boils down to someone wanting to explore and seek answers to better understand things through our own or other people’s ideas, thinking or curiosities. To want to learn, there must be something driving the desire to learn. That’s the motivation. Something I am noticing is that there a small number among us, who are simply not learners. These people live in the most diverse places, so different to their own background and experiences. Do they explore and learn more about their community and culture? They come to work day in and day out without stretching themselves to soak up more knowledge, skills or understanding to grow. How can they be different from what they did the year before? What can we do to help these people see it without it being forced? Because learning should never be forced, it should be a natural force that makes you want to be better.
I try to surround myself with intelligent and inspiring people. People who get it. I listen and take on their insights, connect them back with mine to verify what I think and believe or if they are on to something, challenge and change my views because they are right. We all have key people around us who can push us, bring out the best in what we do to be more. A wise person will know who they are and interact with the right people around them as much as possible, because every conversation or moment is a lesson. If we viewed learning like that, we would be learning just about every minute of the day.
I have been fortunate to be working with Sam for the number years that I have. He pushes me all the time. While I am still me, when you cross paths with someone like that, with such perspective and thinking, you automatically become better. You realize that there is so much you don’t know. The more we know, the more we realize we don’t know and that continues over and over and over and over.
I see all ‘conflict’ of ideas as thinking. It is learning. The ultimate opportunity to learn something new and exciting.
I say, get rid of those teachers who are not learners. They are not interested. They are there for other reasons.
Who are your 5 people in education that make you want to be better?