“The more I read, the more I acquire, the more certain I am that I know nothing.”
This is the quote that most connected with my feelings when I began the IT&DML program last summer. After our initial class and the realization that I knew NOTHING in the world of digital literacy, I slowly came back down to normal. The amount of new learning that needed to happen in order to be a part of this amazing group of educators has been the best process for me professionally and personally. All of life is a journey, however, this path has been an amazing road to travel.
I now accept the fact that it is all a process and we, as educators, can never stop learning. Therefore, my mantra, or philosophy is, “We are ALL lifelong learners.” We need to understand that through the process of educating children, we are also educating ourselves. There are professionals that believe that the learning community can be built around basic concepts (Richard DuFour) ensuring students learn, a culture of collaboration, and a focus on results (ASCD, May 2004, Vol 61, 8). Robert Marzano has also adopted the theory of reflective teaching and feedback. These major concepts will provide teachers the foundation students need in order to learn. I firmly believe that my professional objective is to provide educators with the same learning environment that is effective for students. We are ALL students in today’s society, no matter how many credits we have under our belts. Our best learning comes from our students and making sure that the teachers who touch so many lives have the tools they need to support our future.
“In learning you will teach, and in teaching you will learn.”― Phil Collins
I then came across this quote from one of my favorite artists. At first I laughed because he was not in the educational field. Then I remembered that we learn from everyone, and everyone is a teacher. If we have a closed mind to who can teach us, then we can not grow to our greatest capacity.
I have a former student from my first class back in 1997. He is now an adult who works with my daughter’s band as a section director for percussion. He is now inspiring youths to follow their dreams and be who they want to be. I remember him in class, the student who was permanently seated next to the teacher’s desk. As much as I thought I understood or had compassion for students who are hyperactive, this student taught me a life lesson. He had excellent relationships with adults, as well as being quite entertaining to ALL the students. He needed frequent “breaks” from the classroom and took walks to make deliveries. He visited all the students to and from the office and made himself known as quite the character in school. This student taught me more than any textbook, video or case study. He taught me that I can learn from him as much as he can learn from me. He now understands how he influenced me and is working on becoming that inspiration he always wanted to be. There was no “cap” for him as a learner, and there shall be no “limit” for us as educators. We need to continue to desire, grow, learn and apply what we encounter… always being the learner and trying to always be the teacher.
Professional learning communities are what we use in today’s educational society to continue our journey in gaining knowledge and sharing experiences. Educational theorists know we are all able to flex our brains to handle more and more information. We are creatures with “tabula rasa”… John Locke believes we are all “blank slates” waiting to learn. I do wish there were educators who theorized in the same manner. As conductors of this digital literacy train, we need to understand that not only is life a journey, but so is the responsibility of leading the path of the transition between traditional learning and e-learning.
“Robert Marzzano, Educational Theory” StudyMode.com. 03 2008. 2008. 03 2008 <http://www.studymode.com/essays/Robert-Marzzano-Educational-Theory-138358.html>.