From wikipedia : “Lifelong learning is the “ongoing, voluntary, and self-motivated” pursuit of knowledge for either personal or professional reasons. Therefore, it not only enhances social inclusion, active citizenship, and personal development, but also self-sustainability, as well as competitiveness and employability”
I’m a lifelong learner. For me its not about a constant pursuit of knowledge or material reason but more so an openness to learning combined with a strong belief that there is always room to grow.
Why is it important professionally to be a lifelong learner?:
There is always something new to learn – the diversity in students and situations is best served by an expanded skill set. Too many teachers rely on the familiar and get stale and complacent in their teaching.
Collaboration – if you consistently bring the same stuff to the table your chances of collaboration with peers is diminished. If you are not open to new ideas and practices you will be doubly hurt.
Empathy – Brookfield includes in his maxims of skillful teaching to “regularly learn something new and difficult” (2015, p 269). It serves as a reminder of the challenges, risks and rewards of learning that your students are experiencing.
Humility – there is a richness that comes with an openness to learn. Everyone has something to offer. The students in your class my be there to learn a particular subject matter but they all come with their own experiences expertise and gifts to share.
Modelling – In the chapter on “What Students Value in Teachers” Brookfield suggests that students appreciate teachers who “walk the walk”; delivering strong support for the authenticity require in skillful teaching. Letting students understand that you are on a path, and that your journey continues, helps develop in them similar skills of self direction and …lifelong learning.