During the most recent Edchat(October 26) there was a discussion about instilling the concept of being a lifelong learner into educators. Personally I am of the opinion that someone who has devoted their life to instilling a love of learning in others should be expected to be lifelong learner themselves. I do agree that there needs to be leadership to help educators grow and improve and even at times as @tomwhitby said “reignite that flame within educators.”
However the discussion got me thinking should there be pre-requisites for someone who wanted to be an educator. I am not referring to academic degrees but rather certain character traits and values. I think we would all agree that someone who doesn’t have a love of children and who is not a patient person probably shouldn't choose education as their profession.
I would add that being a lifelong learner falls into that category of pre- requisites. If student learning is the focus we must have as educators for our students then t
eacher/educator learning needs to be a focus we must insist on and have for our teachers/educators. How can we ask someone to teach and impart a skill in others that they themselves don’t have? I probably wouldn’t be a very good English Language teacher and I doubt many members in my PLN would make very good Judaic Studies teachers.
If we are trying to instill lifelong skills in our students than our teachers need to be lifelong learners as the ones responsible for teaching those skills.
We wouldn’t want to go to a doctor that stopped learning when they graduated medical school 10 years ago; Why would we want our teachers/ educators to stop learning?
This was where my original post ended but as fate would have it I felt that I needed to add these last few lines which I believe re-enforces what I have been saying.
In my effort to be constantly learning I came across a presentation which @bhsprincipal posted on Twitter. He quoted Chris Matthews who said, “If you don't keep learning you can't keep teaching”
Then in response to another Tweet I came up with my own quote “I learn so that I can give my students the ability to learn for themselves.”
If you want an easy way to be a lifelong learner join Twitter or EDU PLN and develop a PLN of your own.