Learning to learn

Welcome to my first blog.

With some trepidation I have decided to join the bloggers and blog it! I say trepidation because less than a month ago I sat through a staff meeting about the pitfalls of social media for teachers. The trouble some teachers have got themselves into was cringe-worthy; Facebook has a lot to answer for. For the most part I agreed with the warnings we were given. You just can’t blab off negatively about the children in your class or the odd parent who needs to stop vicariously seeking academic dominance through their child or the ‘management’ who occasionally (and I’m glad to say very occasionally in my case ) ask too much of you. You can’t do that. When you sign up to be a teacher, you also sign up to a public professionalism that takes you to a place above any venom one might pour out quietly in the staffroom. With this in mind, I set my path straight. My blogging is about learning and learning first; I might also throw in a little teaching too, but learning is the thing. 

Some years ago now I met a wonderful man called Dr Chris Watkins from the Institute of Education. Chris introduced to me this idea of ‘learning to learn’ and since then I try as much as I can to come back to learning about learning. Now before you click out of here and designate me to the new age nutter’s corner let me unravel this. Learning to learn is one of the most essential concepts a teacher can bring to their classroom. I would also go so far as to say that its significance applies to anyone, teacher, bus driver, banker (perhaps especially) absolutely anyone; understanding your own learning is deeply human and deeply beneficial to all.

The whole concept of learning to learn makes use of what we bipedal ape descendants have been given: introspection, self awareness and reflection.  If you can learn to learn, you can understand how you as an individual learn best. You can determine what methods work for you and then you can maximise your potential. And this is all I ever want for my pupils: to maximise their potential. If I do anything, I’d like my pupils to leave me knowing themselves a lot better. I also want them to be life long learners so they can be their best at every twist and turn life takes them. They might be scientists (I hope so); they might be writers, mathematicians, cleaners, artists, car park attendants or waiters, but I want them to be the best waiters, the best cleaners. I want them to be the best they can be. I want them to be happy. This is my blogging path: learning about learning.

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