I believe all educators must be continuous learners throughout their entire lives, and especially during their time in the classroom. Gone are the days of getting your degree, landing a job and never going back for further education. What is significantly different today compared to even fifteen years ago is the ‘where’ a person can now go to continually learn.
Today is the first of two days of Teacher’s Convention here in Edmonton, Alberta Canada at the GETCA convention (Greater Edmonton Teachers Convention Association). It is some of my most favourite days as an educator, allowing me to connect with current educational speakers and colleagues who share my passion for learning as members of my community of practice. I learn at Teachers’ Convention. At the same time, I also know in today’s digital age of learning, I can learn anywhere and anytime. As one speaker, Will Richardson stated: If you want to learn about something, perhaps You Tube can help!
I also believe teachers need to ‘lead’ by demonstrating to others of their need to learn continuously. If I am always open to learning, my love for learning will be immediately evident in my classroom and students will pick this up. It is where passion hits the road for students. Check out the energy level of students when they are taught by teachers who have passion and are willing to support students in THEIR passion to learn about things relevant to their own lives. Lead teachers in the digital age see education constantly on the move. As Richardson stated today: We are in perpetual BETA. Constantly trying things, reflecting, trying again.
I encourage and invite you to examine your practice as a leader in education. Are you using technology to help kids LEARN, or are your students simply using technology for the sake of technology? Are you a ‘lead learner’ in your classroom as students engage in your creative lessons and pedagogy? Find new ways to learn. Sign up for free online courses. Become a member of free online book shares. Open up a twitter account (learn how to use twitter). The tools in our backpack continue to grow as educators connect and share. Leaders as learners, lead others to learn.