Teachers are, I think, students just by nature of the profession. But in this case, I became a student both officially and formally by completing an online course offered by STEDI (Substitute Teacher Division, Utah State University) titled “Advanced Classroom Management.”
I wish I could tell you that it was a grueling and stressful experience. Truth be told, I’d actually taken an older version of the course some years ago. So this was a bit of a review and I was able to complete the self-paced course quickly. Being a typical adult learner, I undervalued the material–at least until I finished.
Then I remembered, sometimes the greatest value of a course is that it reinforces what you already know and increases your confidence. I use many of these techniques while teaching. They are integrated into the Substitute Teacher’s Workshop I offer in conjunction with several adult education programs. So, as the saying goes, “It’s all good.”
Students of all ages often ask, “Do we have to learn this?” I understand the question but also find it a sad one. What happened to the joy of learning?
Seth Godin recently posted some thoughts about the smoker’s lounge at the Helsinki Airport. (There’s still one there.) He observed that most smokers in the lounge didn’t look particularly happy. They had the appearance of doing something because they had to do it. He also observed many people standing about the lounge checking their phones. They didn’t seem particularly happy either–probably for the same reason. He wondered when we are going to start building social media lounges.
One thing to like about Seth is he makes you think. I’m not sure if his post is about addiction, human nature, social media or something else.
But I do know this: Things that initially bring us pleasure can easily turn into habit and drudgery. We continue to do them because we have to do them even though the value has diminished. That may include learning. But when we really start to think about it, the cigarettes, phones, and I would include lessons, do not change. We change–collectively and individually.
But when we really start to think about it, the cigarettes, phones, and I would include lessons, do not change. We change–collectively and individually–how we think about things and our attitude towards them.
Let’s make learning fun.