Learning: The Infinite Journey

Personally, I have always liked learning new things. I find challenging myself to grow to be rewarding. I embrace the value of lifelong learning in numerous ways. 

In my opinion, one of the key pieces to lifelong learning must be desire. In my personal life I have pushed myself to learn how to knit, change out a bathtub, use a jackhammer, install tile, put up drywall, install solid core doors, put up cabinets, and many other things. What is interesting is that most of these came from my internal desire to change things in my home or learn a new skill. 

Here are some pictures of the project I have taken on and learned from along the way (before on the left and after on the right):

My desire to learn things in my professional life is strong and I find it fun to learn new techniques and technologies to push my instruction and productivity. There is something very satisfying to me when I attempt a new activity with my students. The thrill of not knowing if the activity you built will be a smash hit or just a huge flop can be exciting both in a good and bad way. The suspense of not knowing can also add to the excitement. This semester I have changed my classroom yet again using strategies from Building Thinking Classrooms in Mathematics from Peter Liljedahl. 

Using strategies from the book, my students are randomly grouped into groups of three every class using a line up activity (Example: Second letter of their last name or distance they drove to campus). Then my students participate in a non curricular task which encourages them to think and has multiple options for solutions and strategies to solve. Once the task is completed they are then given curriculum tasks that are in line with the competences of the course. The students are standing at the boards the entire class with the purpose of problem solving and actively thinking about the task in front of them. 

This new take on my classroom has been invigorating and keeps me on my toes as much as my students. Everyday poses new ways of thinking and pushes everyone in the room to think, not just memorize. 

My desire to push myself out of my comfort zone and try new things has led to growth whether in trying something new and it working out or failing miserably, I am still growing and learning. I truly believe that this attitude helps me be a better teacher and colleague. 

GCC  fosters opportunities for life-long learning in our community. How do you embrace the value of life-long learning? Write about the importance of continuous professional development in your role here at GCC and share your personal experiences and growth.


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