This is constantly a subject in my own life. I believe every person should always be learning something new -- all the time. This is the way I've lived my life (and plan to continue living my life).
Education doesn't stop at any given point in our lives. Or at least, I don't believe it should stop!
I was listening to a news show this morning and heard about 70-year-old Alferd Williams, who decided to attend first grade in order to learn how to read. It made my heart swell to hear this story of a black man who had to work in the fields to support his family, leaving no time for him to attend school. He'd made a promise to his mother to learn to read, so he joined a first grade class at Edison Elementary School (in St. Joseph, Missouri).
Just imagine his situation. He had to get past the barriers that stood in his way -- and not let his pride keep him from fulfilling a life-long dream. I don't care what others say (and I read some really negative comments about this story online, I'm sorry to say) -- I personally think this is amazingly admirable. Alferd wanted to learn enough to join a first grade class, so he did it! (And bless his teacher, Mrs. Hamilton, who decided to teach him!)
Of course, I think we should ALL want to learn things badly enough to jump in and do it -- just like Alferd did!
(Pavithra George reports.)
I certainly have a long (and never-ending) list of things I want to learn. And I'm always in the middle of reading several manuals on a variety of subjects. There aren't enough hours in the day and days in the week when it comes to learning something new -- at least, this is true for me!
In line with this pursuit of knowledge, yesterday I had a discussion with Jessica (at work) about how good it is when we try to help others learn something they don't know. We were discussing how we both wanted to learn some new things. And also talking about how willing people in our office are to try and help each other out when we don't know how to do a given thing...
I've always believed that if we know how to do something we should try to share that knowledge with others. I've literally spent my entire life trying to do exactly that.
Admittedly I got to start with a brilliant 'student' when I was a kid and taught my sister Marilyn mistressmarilyn how to write in a cursive hand two years before she would have learned how in class. In those early childhood days, I often shared what I was learning with her -- though she would quickly surpass me and the shoe would be on the other foot! I can't begin to list all the things Marilyn has taught me since that time. I guess you could say I got my pattern for sharing education quite early in life! (smile)
I can't imagine being a person who is happy to stop learning, or only learn enough to 'get by' in life. I can't imagine being a person who knows how to do something and isn't willing to share that information with others. (There are many ways a person can be selfish, but being selfish with knowledge seems a terrible sin to me...)
Bless those of you reading who are teachers of one form or another. And not just those who actually teach for a living. Many jobs require instructing co-workers, for example. Plus parenting is a decidedly important part of the world of teaching others.
I feel educators (of every level) should be proud of what they do.
But I also feel students should be proud of themselves -- for continuing to strive to learn something new.
(And frankly, I'm quite happy to include myself on both of those lists...)