The Internet and relatively easy access to technology provides a limitless landscape for learning. I am struck by the potential and need for prioritization this presents.
In a field of countless choices, how and what does one choose?
While I don't have all the answers, I have a few plausible paths.
Make your learning question driven. What do you want to know and why do you want to know it? For example, I want to know about the science standards I teach because I know students love to learn science, science is important to their good living, and I want the learning experiences to be memorable and meaningful. I'm happy to have a good guide of main topics to use as I dig in to learn more science and information, skill, and concept related to all the areas of the curriculum I teach.
Where am I headed? Who do I want to be? What lifestyle do I want to embrace? These questions help me to set goals, and those goals help me to focus my learning. For me, I want to teach a top-notch, engaging, and empowering learning program in a warm, welcoming environment that puts children in charge of their learning as much as possible. I want to work with the broader teaching/learning community including education organizations, families, colleagues, administrators and students as I work towards that goal. Personally, I want to continue to invest a warm, welcoming home and family life as well as continued interest and enjoyment related to arts and nature.
In a world of quickly changing events, needs, and knowledge, one has to continually update goals, questions, and direction. A regular diet of good media, reading, conversation, study, analysis, and reflection help you to update in positive, helpful ways. This flexibility is essential. For example, with respect to the advent of the coronavirus, expected events are changing hourly requiring me to rethink plans and preparation. This is the way life is.
Avoid Dead Ends
Some dead ends are unavoidable, but in general dangerous paths of destruction are often avoidable by embracing a positive mindset and behavior. Most of us are aware of pitfalls that lead to dead ends, and as much as possible we need to avoid those.
Lend a Hand
In times of limitless choice, we can become selfish and narrow minded since the choices are everywhere. We can continually work to better and better our situation, yet that narrow, single focus can be a hardship to us and others. We have to make time to contribute to one another, help out, and lend a hand. That's critical to our own well being and the well being of others.