When was the last time you learned something new? I don’t mean when you read a new fact or had a new thought, but when you truly learned something new and applied that knowledge. Today at the gym, while waiting to begin another session of torture with my personal trainer, I watched my trainer be a learner. A man was boxing with a punching bag and my trainer stopped, complimented the man, and asked him for tips about his stance. My trainer then stepped up to the punching bag and tried out his new knowledge. On one hand, this didn’t surprise me because in a previous session my trainer told me that the one area in the gym where he didn’t feel comfortable was anything having to do with boxing. On the other hand, however, this did surprise me. Here was a trainer, someone who was paid to help teach and support those of us less skilled in fitness areas, asking one of us regular people for help. What lessons can we learn from this?
- I believe it is important to let those we lead see us as learners ourselves. We read about principals as “Lead Learners” often enough to remind us of the value. In a learning community, everyone should be considered a learner.
- I believe it is important to push ourselves to step out of our comfort zone, learn something new, and apply it. New learning can be hard (as art has been for me in the past), but as educators, we must honor the productive struggle.
- I believe we must open up our minds and our definitions of learning to realize that we can all learn from one another, in a variety of settings.
I have recently begun to expand my Personal Learning Network (PLN) on Twitter and I am constantly amazed but what I can learn from the people I follow, whether Superintendents, Assistant Superintendents, principals, teachers, coaches, librarians, consultants, authors, or students studying to become educators. Every day I read tweets linking to great blog posts, articles, and websites written and created by a wide range of educators. The more we open up our eyes to the possibilities, the more there is within fingertip reach, to learn.
What will you learn and apply today?