Working in the education field, even as an administrator has taught me the importance of lifelong learning. My personal education background is in economics and business administration. I never thought I would know as much about K-12 and higher education as I do today. I was pushed outside my comfort zone in terms of what I thought I knew and would be capable of doing in a job. If I had not been open to learning about my current field I do not think I would enjoy my job as much as I do.
As educators it is even more important to be lifelong learners because it is your job to teach your students about certain subjects and also to teach them how to learn. If you are not willing to learn the latest methods or techniques, or even a new subject area, how can you expect your students to learn from you?
Lifelong learning doesn’t just have to be part of your career. You can learn something new by learning a new sport or hobby. Teach yourself how to knit or learn a new language. Research something you always though was interesting, but maybe you didn’t study in college. For me that is dinosaurs. My brother and I were fascinated with them as kids and thought we would grow up to be paleontologists, just like Dr. Grant (I am sure most people my age could tell a similar story if they loved Jurassic Park as much as we did).
My point is that you never have to stop learning just because you might be done with school. If you are a reading teacher and need a class for recertification, why not take a science class? It may not be your area, but you might learn something new that could apply to your students.
I’ve listed some great resources below that could help you on your way to being a lifelong learner. They could even give you some ideas for your classroom. Leave a comment if you have any other ideas for being a lifelong learner.
- Duo Lingo: This is a free language learning app that I have mentioned in a previous blog post. It would be a great supplement to a language course like our Spanish courses or a way to brush up on your current skills.
- Edutopia: So many excellent resources for teachers!
- Khan Academy: They provide online lessons in a wide range of subject areas.
- Ted Talks: This is a great resource because you can learn about new things from many different perspectives.