“Great teachers see transformational moments and enter into those moments as learners with their students, technology aided or not…” Kelly Christopherson
I’ve spent my life learning new ideas, activities and, when in different cultures, new social mores. I consider myself to be a life-long learner, especially when it comes to innovative technology. (I love technology!) I believe it’s important for teachers to be life-long learners, and teach their students how to live a life that includes new and interesting things. Innovation in learning looks more like a collaboration between the educator and the students, each learning from the other.
From our reading The Mindset of an Innovator by George Couros, this quote was an important takeaway for me:
“I listen and learn from different perspectives, because I know we are much better together than we could ever be alone. I can learn from anyone and any situation.”
And this had real meaning for me, as well:
“I believe that my abilities, intelligence, and talents can be developed, leading to the creation of new and better ideas.”
And from The Steep “Unlearning Curve”
“We need to unlearn our fear of putting ourselves and our students “out there” for we’ve proven we can do it in safe, relevant and effective ways.”
I’ve proven to myself over and over that I can build new knowledge, abilities and talents, and thus greater creative abilities. Sometimes I’m even surprised at how much I know about certain topics, like theater and mentoring. And yet, I had an epiphany of sorts today, and here it is:
I don’t know it all, and I don’t need to know it all to teach, because I can learn along with my students! Not only that, I’ll learn from them!
As I read The Mindset of an Innovator, I knew that I would certainly be learning from my colleagues, but I wondered if it had occurred to anyone else that we don’t need to be experts to learn from each other. My experiences and knowledge should be shared for the edification and learning of others, colleagues and students alike. Perhaps some of you knew this already, but it’s all new to me, and there I go learning again!
When I read The Steep “Unlearning Curve,” I laughed out loud. It was like we were on the same page – I was reading my own thoughts!
“We need to unlearn the premise that we know more than our kids, because in many cases, they can now be our teachers as well.”
I may know more than my students in some areas, but I am sure that I’ll be learning from them too!
Here’s a rhetorical question: When teachers have all their lesson plans completed, and stay in the same school, teaching the same class, do they stop learning? I hope not. I also hope I never stop learning, because how boring would that be?
I’m still becoming an Innovative Life-Long Learner, because it’s all about the journey, not a destination.