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Evolve Self - Personal Professional Development

I love teaching, whether it is teaching young children, students or teachers. I love learning new information and finding out about new educational developments.

I completed a diploma in education, and nearly 10 years later I was offered the opportunity to

study Design and Technology. Our children were very young. It was exciting and changed my life. I then decided to wait to continue my academic qualifications, such as my Honours and Masters, until our children were much older. Along the way, I attended many courses and did a lot of reading. I have now completed my Honours in Educational Technology and researched response systems. I have also completed Masters in Educational Technology and researched the effective use of SMS technology in schools. Presently I am a PhD candidate, researching virtual reality in primary schools.

As teachers, we know our subject content knowledge and enjoy sharing our content knowledge with our students, where we can engage with our students and get to know them better.

Some educators don’t see the value in being a lifelong learner. They argue I have studied, I

know my content, what else do I need? This argument changed even more last year with the impact Covid-19 had on education and schooling.

Teachers were thrown into the deep end. Where we hadn’t used much technology, suddenly we were pushed to learn even more about online teaching and make use of online tools and applications to make the lessons more exciting, engaging and easy to understand, to allow for students to continue their education from home.

If we used technology before the lockdown, during the lockdown we were assisting other teachers and helping one another cope, what resources to use and what to learn. We were learning new technologies and adapting what we knew to use in a completely different way. We were focused on becoming learners. Learning new skills and strategies.

As time moves on, don’t stop learning now. Keep going! Be the lifelong learner role model for your students.

It has been found that teachers who engage in lifelong learning set a positive example for their students, by setting the example and practicing what they teach.

This behaviour encourages students to become lifelong learners, regardless of the career they pursue.

Our own lifelong learning as educators will encourage students to learn as they move into the world of the future.

So consider stepping outside your comfort zone.

  • Remain a lifelong learner, you’ve begun the journey, continue to explore and grow.

  • Turn your learning challenges and mistakes into learning opportunities.

  • Tell your learners what you find difficult about your learning challenges, and how you have tackled them. Encouraging them to review and adapt or retry work.

  • Do not see mistakes as negatives, but rather see them as wonderful opportunities to grow, learn and succeed.

  • Create a learning plan. Think about the learning path you are following.

  • Plan your learning journey.

  • Tell learners how they should plan their learning journey’s creating time for homework, projects, study, reflection and relaxation and fun.

  • Link your learning plan to your professional goal. Ask yourself, Why are you on a particular learning path?

  • Look at the information you have learned, reflect on it. Analyse what you could have done differently. Become a reflective thinker.

  • Tell your students about looking back, sharing with them what you learnt, what worked and what could be improved. Encourage them to become reflective workers and thinkers.

  • Have a growth mindset, knowing that intelligence can be developed.

  • Be willing to try and try again. Be willing to learn.

Discuss and demonstrate that determination with your students.

As you see the steps of achievement and success, it builds your confidence and self-esteem.

So, step outside your comfort zone, be the lifelong learner.

It is exciting to learn and explore and have fun along the way!

It also provides your learners with the example of being a lifelong learner, so that they will be able to adapt, change and continually learn in the ever changing world.

Take ownership of your own learning journey, evolve yourself! You hold the key!

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