5 People


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?






  1. Jason Graham

    Love the post. I like being challenged, its where the learning and discussions happen. @whatedsaid pushes my thinking. A few non Twitter folk and non teaching folk – which is great. Perspective.

  2. sherrattsam

    Thanks for saying that about me Chad, and of course the feeling is mutual… so that’s one of my people. Adrian Watts certainly keeps provoking and inspiring me as he relentlessly reads, watches, observes, curates and shares media that makes us think. Kelli Sherratt has had a massive effect on me because her interest in Reggio philosophy. Edna, Lana and the people at Mt. Scopus have been a massive influence not only in helping me see things differently but also empowering me to believe my thoughts have value. Kate Grant… for every reason. And then… my PLN on Twitter, which is hundreds of people, provide a perpetual flow of ideas, perspectives, resources, responses, inquiries etc… etc…!!!

    • concentricthinking

      You have named some very top and clear picks. All of these people have been in the background and foreground at different times for different reasons. It’s just like having an ‘All Star’ team that makes you want to work harder and smarter and give more of yourself. I really like that you mentioned Kelli, I know you have great respect and admiration for her.

  3. Nora

    Interesting and thought provoking read. Agree with the first part on being a learner and stretching and challenging oneself. I love all that; I think though, integrity is more important than intelligence. In work environments as well as personal interactions, it is impossible to establish a foundation without trust and having trustworthy and honest individuals to work with. Integrity comes before intelligence as it pushes one to become a better person and not only smarter…, in my opinion. Having said that, it is worth mentioning that it’s been a privilege working with Sam for this number of years as he continues to remain a source of inspiration; someone we value, look up to and trust.
    ‘I say, do not hire intelligent teachers who lack integrity’. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Darcy Dufresne

    Love this reflective post! Could Administrators and parents also be included in the mix? What if we examined dissolving or making dynamic the ‘boxes’ we slate ourselves into as ‘teacher’, ‘student’, ‘specialist teacher’, ‘principal’, ‘Head of School’, ‘parent’, ‘community member’, ‘The IB’ and worked toward gaining a broader perspective and role-sharing of all of these? 🙂

  5. Pingback: The next list of 5 … | thespaceofjeans

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