By Judianne Jayme
During my two years in the Faculty of Education, there were a few phrases that quickly lost its novelty. We heard them all the time. One phrase was the notion of being a “lifelong learner.” Yes, things will always change in our field. Yes, new and more efficient ideas will always come up. Yes, we will adapt. But when you’re a student, itching to get out into the real world, this concept was just that: an idea. We were growing weary of hearing about constantly learning. We wanted to do, do, and do. We wanted to take action.
It didn’t take long for my first year of teaching that this concept was put into practice. My students, to this day, five years later, continue to ask me “You’re going to another workshop?” “Miss Jayme, what are you going to learn this time?”
While my first year training workshops were mandatory, the years of professional and personal development have been by my own initiative. I continuously challenge myself and push past my comfort zone. The comfort zone is cozy, but it’s also a place that gets you fast-tracked to boredom and restlessness.
Months into my first year of teaching, I replied to my students’ questions with, “Kids, as we move through life, we need to adapt. We need to keep learning new ideas. We are, after all, lifelong learners.” I cringed the first time I heard myself say it, but I knew it was true. The concept was finally a part of me. I am a lifelong learner.
Adaptability in any profession is crucial to your growth in it. With the speed that innovation, technology, and information spread in our society, you have to make space in your toolbox of knowledge and ideas. You must be a learner. To sit back passively is to be left behind. As a lifelong learner, you don’t have to continuously change your beliefs or values. You adapt your practices to accommodate new innovation, information, and ideas that will help you work smarter, not harder in your field.
Parent tip: learn with your kids.
A comment I receive annually comes from parents who want to help their students with certain subjects, but either do not remember the concept, or are unfamiliar with the concept the student is asking about. My advice to these parents, and to you, is to begin with a conversation with your child. Admit that that’s a challenging concept/task and you need to work through it together. Ask them what they understand about that question or idea. If you have access to books or the internet, turn to that for further information, strategies or tips. Show them that you are a lifelong learner, and they will value that quality in themselves!
Educator & Mentor – Winnipeg School Division
Founder & Owner – JudiMeetsWorld