“Good morning, gorgeous…🎶” Mary (as in J. Blige) sang to me this Saturday morning at 5:15 am. Before 6 am on a Saturday is still nighttime. Not feeling very good, nor gorgeous, I dragged myself out of bed, got dressed enough to get in my car, and drove home, still a bit bleary-eyed. (Did I ever tell you about how my husband and I sometimes live in different houses? Future post, perhaps.)
Why was I up at this ungodly hour on a Saturday morning? It was the TC Reading and Writing Project Saturday Reunion. If you’re not familiar, it’s a day of free literacy PD in your pajamas, basically. And it was absolutely worth the early wake up time, not just because of the great presenters and content, but also seeing the thousands of other educators who were there learning too. It’s inspiring.
My teacher bestie and I are always having conversations around why some of our colleagues never seem to be interested in learning more–this goes for teachers and administrators. And on the flip side, why are we and others constantly trying to learn more, even as we come close to 30 years of experience? When I was a new teacher, I know I was always reading and looking for resources to solve the giant list of things I didn’t know, as someone who started without any student teaching and only a couple of teacher prep courses under my belt. As I gained more experience, I continued to look for ways to hone my practice and continue to do so to this day. This inevitably leads me down rabbit holes of other books, other articles to read. It. Never. Ends. So it’s hard for me to wrap my head around the idea that we, as educators, could ever get to a point where we don’t think there’s room for growth. I know there are a variety of reasons people can get into a fixed mindset, but how do we get out of it?
I’d love to know your thoughts about what the conditions are that prevent lifelong learning and how we overcome those obstacles.