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Nurture Lifelong Learning

This year, I made the decision to begin my Masters degree in education. This decision was, in reality, made 10 years ago but I never got around to taking the first step and enrolling on a course. What took me so long? Anybody in a full-time profession, not just primary school teaching, can justify that there never seems to be enough time and I became a victim of this mindset. In truth, one needs to find the time and rethink workload in a manageable way, to prioritise and organise both professional and personal routines so that they may include one’s own professional development. As an educator, it is vital that we lead by example by demonstrating to pupils that learning never stops and that being inquisitive and wanting to learn more is vital to continuing self-improvement and staying knowledgeable.

Managing workload is important and the only means by which to be successful in your studies whilst working in a full-time profession.. Creating routines and rules are generally best to get motivated and I have listed how I manage my time effectively to ensure lifelong learning:

  • Create a plan and stick to it; including planning what to do in your free time
  • Treat yourself once in a while! It’s great to feel that you deserve that spa break or tickets to your favourite show
  • Stay healthy and eat well, including getting enough sleep each night
  • Utilise technology where possible and when appropriate. This can be time effective and allows studying to be mobile
  • Prioritise your workload so that you don’t feel overwhelmed

The pace of learning has changed and the means by which we study are evolving. Tips and techniques are useful for how to be most productive, particularly for those of us who last wrote an essay over 20 years ago! It’s important that we demonstrate to our young people how important self-improvement is but the process should be two-way, and the next generation is probably more qualified to advise older learners how to create new learning habits in a fast-paced society.

Having recently been part of an Entrepreneur workshop at The Arcadia Preparatory School, it became apparent that all children have natural curiosity and endless imagination. During the event, young people were given a short time to think of something, anything at all, and then to create it and make it into something tangible. The results were extraordinary. One 9-year-old designed a temperature-altering spoon so that food would be changed to the right temperature to consume. Another group made an ‘Animal Translator’, which looked like a helmet and could translate animal’s sounds into human language. The breadth of creativity and originality was endless and left me in awe of the young entrepreneurs. It made me realise that children push their own learning boundaries all the time and that this should be true of adults too.

With a broad range of educational opportunities surrounding us, there really is no excuse to stop learning. Everyone has the capacity to build on their innate curiosity and to develop their own learning choices and experiences. At the end of my Master’s degree, if I have created something even remotely as brilliant as a temperature-changing spoon, I will be incredibly proud of myself!

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