Inspiration in life is a wonderful, beautiful thing. I have found that it comes in waves, and is about as predictable as the weather in D.C. So when that inspiration does hit, I not only feel the need to grasp onto it for as long as possible, but also to share it with everyone I can.
Here’s to hoping inspiration can be contagious!
What has me so inspired, you ask? Well the past few months have brought forth several big life changes. The most notable of those changes being, starting a fantastic new job, and making the exciting move from a suburban town in Maryland to city life in Washington, D.C. I’ve also had the incredible opportunity to not only become part the Trinity community professionally, but now academically as well.
That is right. In just a few short weeks, I will be going back to school to continue my education.
This brings out a multitude of mixed emotions for me. The majority my life (and the majority of most lives in the U.S.), from birth through early adulthood, was spent learning. Education was the focus. School was the focus. And then, I switched modes completely and graduated into the “working world.” Now all of a sudden, it seems learning plays a minor role, and knowing became the focus. I believe this is true for most working adults (especially teachers!) Being an expert becomes the expectation and the norm, while there is little room left for learning.
Where is the fun in that? Where is the opportunity to grow? If we are taught to learn, learn, learn, and then reach this point where we just stop, I honestly believe we are missing out on some abundant aspects of life.
So, while I am now used to my daily routine and being comfortable “just knowing.” I’m ready. I’m ready to learn again. And I want to urge you to be ready, too! See what life has to offer if you choose to never stop learning.
Here are 10 ways how:
1) Continue your education (like me!). There are so many routes you can take now with furthering your education. For example, try taking a professional development course. Here at Trinity, we offer numerous different courses for teachers looking to maintain their certification requirements. Why not take a course this Spring or Summer to refresh your love for learning and cultivate your teaching abilities?
2) Make learning part of your daily routine, create time. Busy schedule? I completely understand. Try listening to a podcast during your commute, or read an article on a new, diverse topic during breakfast or lunch.
3) Take a class for fun. Did you know you can take an exciting visual arts course at the National Museum of Women in the Arts this summer? (And you can even receive graduate credit for it!)
4) Go somewhere you have never gone. Take a day trip to a new city, or even try out a new restaurant. Just last week, I tried a Portuguese restaurant for this first time, and it was fantastic getting a little taste of another culture.
5) Learn a valuable lifesaving technique. Take a few hours to become certified in CPR!
6) Pick up a new hobby. Learn to play tennis, or how to decorate cakes! The possibilities are endless and the rewards for learning something just for you can be exponential.
7) Combine leisure with learning. Washington D.C. is home to an outstanding assortment of museums rich with American history. You can stroll through them at your leisure, or some even offer classes. Take Ford’s Theatre, for instance. They offer a course this summer on the Civil War: Washington D.C. History!
8) Meet someone new. People are fascinating and no two experiences are the same. Imagine what you can learn from just talking to someone you would not normally talk to.
9) Re-learn something you’ve already learned. Did you take Spanish in college? Maybe high school? Why not take a refresher course or two, and really learn that second language!
10) Teach someone else. Being an expert on something is certainly a great accomplishment, however, there is always room to grow! Teaching another to do something you are fluent in causes you to be creative, and gives you an opportunity to mature even further in your own expertise. Speaking of, Happy Teacher Appreciation week to all you hardworking, dedicated teachers out there!
Honorable Mention: Always, always ask questions! And live a full life, learning and growing all you can.