Friday Thoughts: Modeling Lifelong Learning
We had a great week of chapel, and I really appreciate the ideas Aaron Leverette shared with us on Monday and Tuesday. After reflection, I’d like to share five key questions for all of us to keep in mind.
1. Am I a relentless learner?
Several times during chapel, Mr. Leverette referenced a book he has recently read and used those ideas to shape his current thinking. As educators, we expect our students to read and learn new information daily, so it’s imperative that we have those same expectations for ourselves. As a former English teacher, I used to feel guilty reading in class while my students were reading, but I had a colleague remind me it’s important that students see me reading alongside them. From that point on, I made sure students saw me reading (even though I wasn’t required to read something).
2. Do I show others another way of doing things?
Mr. Leverette shared the history of acappela music in church, but he then spent the second half of chapel sharing some acappela group options and played samples from several groups. It reminded me of how much easier it is to tell someone what not to do, but it’s much harder to offer way of doing something. The early church was known as “The Way” and they certainly showed everything another way of living life.
3. Do I know who I am and embrace it?
It’s important to invest time learning things on my own rather than accepting something as truth just because it’s what I’ve always known. Again, this is not easy to do, but it is simple. Many of our students are in the same boat, accepting things as truth without really knowing why they believe. Our students need to see us searching for answers and embracing who we are.
4. Do I bring my expertise with me?
I loved that Mr. Leverette, being a band teacher, talked about music. That makes so much sense! He brought his expertise with him and used that as a springboard. I once heard David Platt tell an audience while he was referring to a simile in the Bible, “This is why, students, you soak in English class— not so you can write a good paper. Ultimately, it’s so you can know the Word of God, so you can study the Word of God. This is why we sharpen our minds, so that we can know God’s word.” Having an English background, that idea has really stuck with me. My expertise is a talent God has given me, and that expertise needs to accompany me wherever I go.
5. Do I share what I’m learning?
After learning new information, exploring my own beliefs, and sharpening my areas of expertise, do I share what I’ve learning? Perhaps what I’ve just learned is exactly what someone else may need to hear. I’m guessing that’s why blogs are exploding. It’s an easy to share what we’re learning with the world.
As people who have the privilege of working with young people every day, we have the opportunity to model for students what it means to be a lifelong learner— and we need to take advantage of that opportunity every single day. Mr. Leverette did a great job of modeling that for us this week.