Tuesday, June 23, 2015

"Learning Compounds"

I can usually count on Seth Godin to inspire me every morning. Today's Godin post made me think about the words "learning compounds."

A compound is made up of several parts or elements, and as a veteran teacher, I think of my professional work as a compound of years of classroom experience, courses, collegial mentoring, learning from students, reading good books, online share, and so on. With each year, the compound grows and I know more than before.

Since educators typically have so many different areas if knowledge and work in their "learning compounds," it's important to think about how you manage that knowledge to teach well. What do you do so that your work moves in a spiral rather than a repeating loop--how can you use all that knowledge to better your craft?

Grow Your Programs
Continue to develop your good work with reflection, study, and refinement. Keeping your work on a transparent website allows you to readily update as you learn and also invites the voices of others who see and use your work. That process of growing your work results in better service to children. For example, I continue to develop the Magnificent Math website to better serve my math students. This summer I'll read over many math lessons and efforts and continue to refine that site to serve my students and colleagues well.

Chart Your Questions
Be cognizant of your questions and take the time to write about and think about those questions. Sharing your quests welcomes response, and that response helps you to answer those questions by inviting responses, leading to experts, and providing a network for professional growth.

An open attitude and daily routine of learning also helps you to compound your learning in effective ways. Identify learning options that work well for you and access those options often. There are limitless online and offline ways to learn today. I suggest that you try out different learning venues and then commit to some that serve you well. Change up your learning course often as well so that you continue to challenge yourself with new voices and avenues of knowledge too.

Learn from Mistakes and Deficiencies
We will err as educators, and it is important to learn from those mistakes. The more you can dissect error and learn from your missteps, the more resilient and meaningful your work will be for yourself and others.

Compounding our learning is essential to teach and serve children well, and good process ensures that the compounding empowers our work and leads us in the right direction.