I was thinking…About My Own Learning

“There is no end to education.  It is not that you read a book, pass an examination, and finish with education.  The whole life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die, is a process of learning.”       Jiddu Krishnamurti


About My Own Learning

Over the years I have  learned a lot, at least I think I have, and I realize I still have a lot to learn.  I have literally been in school since the age of five.  As I am almost 49, that puts my school experiences as a student and educator to  44 years.  I suddenly feel a little bit older now.  Today, I thought I would reflect on how I learn.

There are many ways to learn.  You can learn by going to school, experience, and reading to name a few.  Here are some of the formal and informal ways that I learn today.

Formal Learning

  • Reading – I am not the fastest reader in the world.  All through my elementary years my teachers always put in my report card, “Greg should read in the summer time.”  Although I am not the fastest reader, I still learn by reading educational and/or leadership books and journals.
  • Conferences – This year I had the pleasure of going to two conferences.  One was on the Daily 5/CAFE in Las Vegas and the other was a Wayne Hulley conference on Effective Schools in Winnipeg.  During both these conferences I learned some new concepts and was reaffirmed by many concepts I currently use.  I also enjoyed the collaboration with my colleagues during the sharing portions of the conferences.
  • On-line Courses – I am currently taking a class from Flinders University called “Intervention for Students with Numeracy Difficulties.”  I am currently teaching Grade 6 math and I think  it is important for me to learn how to help all my students, especially the students that struggle.  I am only three weeks into the course and I have learned what Study A and Study B came up with, and what a variety of theorist think.  I truly hope to expand my knowledge and skills as an educator to help all my students.

Informal Learning

  • Blogs – I like to read blogs.  They are often short, but rich with information and insights.  Check out the column to the left to see some of the blogs I follow.
  • Family – I spend a large portion of my time with my family and they are a great source of my learning.  I continue to learn from my wife and two children, but I do have to admit when my children are talking at the supper table about their latest university courses, I am a little confused about the topic of the conversation.
  • Twitter – Twitter has expanded my PLN.  When I have time I like to go to twitter to see new ideas.  Lately I have attempted to go on various twitter chats.  They are quick and fast paced, but the collaboration is terrific.
  • Class room visits – I am amazed at all the talented teachers there are.  When I go to visit a class or to supervise a teacher, I definitely leave the class room richer than when I arrived.  Many times I have observed a teacher, learned a new strategy, and practiced it in my own class room.
  • Workshops – Whether they are in my school or at my school division board office I have had the pleasure of being part of many workshops.  I will admit, sometimes I leave empty, but more often I leave knowing something I did not before.
  • Relationships – I learn from others, whether it is a talented educational assistant, a veteran teacher, a rookie teacher, a happy parent, an unhappy parent, a grade one student, or a grade 6 student.  The more I interact, the more I learn.

Although not a complete list, these are some of the ways that I learn.  One realization is my learning is changing.  I find I enjoy the formal learning, but not as much as the informal learning.  Years ago, I think it was the other way around.  The important point is, we are always learning.  Now I am going back to some formal learning, I need to read an article about “Understanding Dyscalculia.”

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