All About Learning

When I finished grad school I remember thinking something like, “Wow, I’ve been in school in some form or fashion every year of my life for the past 24 years! School’s out!” And then came the thought “What do I do with myself now…now that there’s not a paper I’m working on (or grading) not to mention the guidance (or structure) that a formal class offers.” I realized that I really enjoyed school more than I imagined. Of course, there are many parts of standard classroom learning that aren’t as enjoyable, but ultimately the idea of being in an environment that is set up for the central purpose of learning is a wonderful (and important) thing.
So, on to what works best and worst for me as far as the 7 and a half habits of learning…to review…

1. Begin with the end in mind
2. Accept responsibility for your learning
3. View problems as challenges
4. Have confidence in yourself as competent, effective learner
5. Create your own learning tool box
6. Use technology to your advantage
7. Teach/mentor others
7 1/2: Play!

Hmmm, let’s start with the “worst.” This is not so easy to pin-point…though it sounds trite, I like to learn new things…and all the above “habits” appeal to me. What occurs to me as I think about it, may be that–and I never would imagine I’d say this–is that the “play!” part might be the one that is my small hurdle when learning. I can often become pretty serious about new material and wanting to make sure I get things right the first time–and this is not very much like “play.” But it is a good thing to remind ourselves to play…I think Emerson said something like all of life is just an grand experiment, anyway–so play.
Which learning habit appeals to me the most? In this moment, I have to say that #7: Teaching and mentoring others is one that really stands out. I find that I enjoying interacting with others and sharing new information, discussing ideas and making plans. You learn so much from teaching someone else what you know (or think you know) well.

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