Monday, April 27, 2015

"Never stop learning, because Life never stops teaching." - Unknown

I have been reflecting about how much I have learned, and continue to learn, in my new positions of author and educational consultant and radio co-host. In fact, I am now becoming an expert on ideas and technologies that I never even knew existed until I was thrust into these roles. Although at times my head is spinning, I have to admit, I like all of this new learning! Every day is exciting!

Some of my friends have said to me, almost in admonishment, "You are supposed to be retired!"  My answer is " Retired from what?  I am retired from teaching high school English, but I am not retired from life."  For me, life would not be very interesting if I could not continue to learn.  I also feel compelled to continue to contribute to Education. I loved school, and although I am no longer in the classroom every day, I still have 37 years of wisdom and experience to share. I am not ready for the rocking chair at 62!  I enjoy all of the jobs that I do, and they all include learning something new every single day. It is enjoyable to read the scholarly articles on Education that I need for the radio show, and to write every single day for educational magazines and my blog.  I have some upcoming speaking engagements, so I am back to speech writing, and I am planning a webinar as well, and revisiting Powerpoint. I am also learning how to do a new website on Word Press, with all the nuances and proclivities of working with a new format.  Twitter and I have become inseparable, as Twitter is helping me to make global friends and connections in Education. All of this new learning is exhilarating!  Exhausting, but exhilarating! 

I believe that teachers must be role models for students, and that a teacher who loves learning will cultivate students who love learning.  When I was in the classroom for those 37 years, I took delight in telling students when I learned something new from them!  Students love sharing information and "teaching the teacher", and a warm reception from the teacher goes a long way with promoting a student's love of learning.  I specifically remember a lesson about Latin and Greek roots, and the root "psuedo" (false, pretend, from the Greek). I am embarrassed to tell you that I was not much of a science student, and I did not remember what a psuedopod was from Biology class, so students were very interested in telling me all about pseudopods!  One student even drew a likeness of a psudeopod on the board (at least that is what he said it was-I wouldn't have known.) That vocabulary lesson turned into a true "learning across the curriculum" minute and a "teaching the teacher" lesson, and I will tell you that years later, when I encountered some students from that class, they talked about the day they taught me about pseudopods.  I liken that day to a spark of learning that turned into a fire for most of those students.  They became experts in dissecting words for roots and prefixes and suffixes to discern the meaning of words, and many of them wrote thank you notes to me for elevating their SAT verbal scores. 

Teachers, for those of you who are in the classroom, share with your students some of the learning-outside of school-that you have enjoyed.  It is a great idea to share and extol your excitement and passion for learning.  For those teachers who are retired, I recommend that you continue to share both your love and passion for learning with others, be it in a bridge club, a book club, at the local colleges, or with your grandchildren and friends.

Being a lifelong learner brings joy to every day and makes life so much fun. And as the quote at the title of this article says, "Never stop learning, because Life never stops teaching."

I hope you learn some really great "stuff" today, and that you have fun while learning!

Rittman Publishing, LLC

As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions. 

Dede's award-winning book, STUDENT TEACHING: THE INSIDE SCOOP FROM A MASTER TEACHER, is available at or  

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