Monday, November 1, 2010

Why Are You A Life-Long Learner? The Follow-Up...

Recently I asked this:

We encourage our kids to be life-long learners. And when they ask why we tell them all kinds of things like it is important to stay relevant in our careers and it is important for humanity to have people who enjoy learning, etc. (You probably have something much more creative and fun than mine.)
But that lead me to educators and life-long learners...
We want to have teachers that are life-long learners. The why is obvious, at least to me, why I want educators in general to be life-long learners. But why is that the case for you? Why are you a life-long learner?

The response was amazing. In addition to the 24 comments (which you can read on the original post) I got over 100 responses to my question, collected in a Google Doc. 

I spent the weekend reading each response. I wanted to see if there was any trends or anything that was unusual or anything that stuck out. I noticed of the responses that curiosity was a main reason. Many people want to learn more because they are curious, they want to know more or (like me) they feel like they have to know everything. 

Several people talked about their students. Many said that they have to be life-long learners because they want their students to be and they want to be for their students. If they are an educator, their job is to be a life-long learner one person wrote. 

On the flip side, many said nothing about students but talked about themselves. Bordom was mentioned more than once, meaning that life would be boring without learning. 

There were lots of great responses. Below are 5 of my favorites...

  • I am a life-long learner because I am curious about too many things not to be...Because I believe I have to keep up with what is current in education to be the best teacher that I can be...Because I was recently flabbergasted by research on cognitive growth in a variety of occupations which indicated that of all occupations, teachers are most likely to experience NO cognitive growth during their career...
  • Because good has never been good enough...good is a starting off poing. I know I can always do more,do better. And, lifelong learning is my way of always striving to be better than good. 
  • I like to learn things that are new to me because that makes my life interesting.  I like to know more about things I am interested in. In education I am interested in reading and writing. Therefore I am always on the lookout for information that will make me a better teacher.  I love technology so I always want to learn how I can incorporate that into my own life and teaching. As well I like to learn things that are outside of education that are personal to me, for example card making or how to grow things in my garden with more success. What I think actually is... how on earth can people avoid being life long learners?
  • I'm fascinated by all the things I don't know or don't know how to do. Even though I know I can't master everything (obviously), I like to stretch myself to grow in new directions all the time. Even as a kid, I read voraciously and loved discussing new things we were learning. One of my favorite things to do is to share something new I've learned! Learning helps connect people together. The more you learn, the more you find in common with others... but also you find a deep respect for the differences as well.
  • Why do I keep on learning?  Because I just can't help it - I think it's part of my personality.  How boring would it be to not be learning anything new?  Where's the challenge in that?  And I'm eclectic in my learning, I'm curious about all sorts of things.  I hope I have passed that along to my children.  It was modeled for me by my parents.    

There are so many more great responses. I have put all the responses below (without the names) so you can see just what people said. Take a few moments and read through. Some will really make you laugh, others really make you think. 

After reading, anything strike you as odd, curious, interesting, not surprising? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
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