Skip to main content

Lifelong Learning; More Than Lip Service

Today was my birthday. After nearly 1/2 century, the celebration is a bit muted tonight. Not just because 49 is an insignificant, prime number, but because my birthday typically falls during the first week of school, which as you know, can be a rather wild whirlwind, two parts excitement mixed with one part stress. That said, today does offer me a chance to reflect on a conversation that I shared with my principal during our weekly meeting. We shared our beliefs about lifelong, passion-based learning, and it was an enthusiastic discussion that inspired this post.
I am thinking back to two weeks ago when I realized how few of my district leadership team members were connected to a personal learning network. Many of these folks are within a few years of retirement, and the likelihood, and hope, is that most of these folks will live for decades beyond retirement.

The question that is puzzling me tonight is... 
If our most experienced educators aren't currently establishing relevancy through PLN connections, how can they expect to achieve this in their later years?

This same collection of leaders all agree that lifelong learning is a foundation of our district mission, and profession. 

I see no better way to stay engaged as a lifelong learner than through connecting and sharing knowledge, experience, and expertise with a personal learning network (PLN).


Many of the folks that I describe are respected mentors that have provided guidance, direction, and opportunities to many of my colleagues and me. I am now asking them to stay viable, relevant, and connected by sharing to a larger classroom. I guess I am also saying that I will miss many of them when they're gone.

Lifelong learning should be more than lip service.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Good People; The Product of Good Schools

The nightly business reports frequently mention inputs and outputs. Gross National Product (GNP) is a widely recognized leading economic indicator. Widgets aside, what is the product of schools? Some of you want to jump on a table and scream, "children are not products!" Let this breathe a bit as you trudge forward.



In his recent post, Mark Heintz eloquently shares his ruminations to a question being kicked around in our Modern Learners community, "What do we want our children to be?" Credit Pam Moran, Ira Socol, and Chad Ratliff, co-authors of "Timeless Learning; How Imagination, Observation, and Zero-based Thinking Change Schools," for sparking this conversation theme. Timeless Learning provides interesting provocations, inspiring experiences, and compelling rationale for school change.

Like others, my school's leadership team is engaging in discussions about reimagining school to meet the needs of our modern learners. These conversations are seldom e…

Grammarly Writing Hacks for Better Blogging

Writing is learning. It's taken me about thirty years to realize the metacognitive power of written expression, the same amount of time it took for me to recognize that my writing skills suck. Apparently, time in composition class was spent daydreaming and making silly faces at girls. Today, each post is an exercise of will power, unlearning and relearning prepositional phrases, comma usage, and when to use the ever-popular semicolon. Two hundred posts into my blogging adventure I've picked up a few tricks that add efficiency to my writing, things that make me appear smarter than I really am.


Freelance writer, Jennie Cromie, writing for ProBlogger.net, identifies five ways blogging can make you a better writer. Discover your voiceBuild social connectionsAcquire valuable feedbackBecome self-disciplinedWrite faster and more efficiently
Writing with intent to learn is the mindset to lead with. Using the right tools permits scatterbrains like me to focus on the message rather than un…

To Email, or Not

Should current students learn how to use email?


As someone who celebrates a clean email inbox about once every five years, I found it interesting that the topic of student email usage was on the agenda of our recent high school leadership meeting. The focus of this brief conversation concentrated on these questions.



How can we get students to utilize their school email account better? Should we be teaching students how to communicate with email?When and where should email usage skills be taught? Who's responsibility is this?Why do we want kids to check their email? Those around the conference room table agreed with the importance of students checking their email to stay informed about upcoming events and opportunities. Others mentioned it as being an important part of "digital executive functioning." Time was running short when someone said, "Kids don't use email."

This brief statement sent my mind scurrying in several simultaneous directions. 

First, thinking …