Monday, August 12, 2013

Once you stop learning, you start dying

     After a two month vacation from blogging I am back albeit 400 miles further south and a little west.  My family has now relocated to Nashville and the kids start their first full week of school at (William) Lipscomb Elementary in Williamson County.  We have heard great things about the school and are looking forward to a great year.

     As for me, I have been working at Lipscomb University for a little over a month now and have really been enjoying the new position.  Freshman moved in yesterday so the feel on campus is a bit more lively today. Classes start a week from today and I am looking forward to experiencing my first semester from a non-student view.  It does not seem like it was too long ago that I was moving in, hanging my Ohio State flag (which later led to meeting my wife, GO BUCKS), and heading to classes. Of course at that time I knew a lot more than I do now...or at least I thought I did.  For one thing I knew that four years of school and I would be done learning.

   Done Learning, ha ha, stupid 18 year old me.  I do not know about you, but 16 years later I am learning more than ever. When I finished my M.Ed in Technology I again had that accomplished feeling, thinking I had reached the pinnacle.  No more classes, no more books, no more professors...well you know.  However, I quickly realized everyone has two choices when it comes to the road of life long learning.  One can be content with where they are, park the car, and ultimately be aggravated by those that zip by or...you can DRIVE!

     Whether you are a 60 year old professor, a 22 year old first year teacher, or a mid 40's kindergarten teacher, I challenge you to DRIVE. Why do you think they have minimum speed limit signs on the freeway?  It simply would not work if some people decided to stop, that is called a traffic jam (or Los Angeles).  After all, can we really inspire learning if we have ceased to do it ourselves.  You might think I am just talking about technology, but I acknowledge that learning is more than tech. Certainly as an EdTech advocate I promote life long learning and adaptation to new technologies, but learning is learning.  As long as you are striving to better yourself by learning via pedagogy, technology, subject knowledge, classroom management, speaking ability, creative thinking, the list goes on, just be doing it!

     We can all name someone who has simply parked the car (hopefully it is not you), and we must ask, are they really having fun?  Do they enjoy their job, do they enjoy their students, do they enjoy not learning?  The answer is most certainly no.  Take advantage of professional development, trying new techniques, and using new tools.  When things get tough, don't be tempted to take the keys out of the ignition, because the alternative is not any better.

Have a great semester, impact your students, & don't fall asleep at the wheel...DRIVE!