Good teachers are hard to come by these days. The education system is all over the place, and for those who love their teaching job, it becomes increasingly difficult to get better at it. You feel stuck in the same place, with no real way of improving. You may have heard of lifelong learning, but… what is it exactly?
Well, it’s your ticket out of constantly questioning your skills.
Why Should I Invest in Lifelong Learning?
The reasons are numerous, so we’ve trimmed them down to a list.
- The brain rejuvenates when you learn something new, as it’s able to create new neural paths; this helps thwart off serious health issues like Alzheimer’s;
- You inspire students by “practicing what you preach”;
- It helps you understand students better;
- By observing your teachers and their methods, you can improve your own;
- It makes you a more well-rounded person as you get to expand your interests;
- It’s an incredible career booster; people with plenty of skills are irreplaceable in the workplace, and more likely to receive a raise;
And while it all sounds very good and fine in theory, we know there’s one question still bothering you. So let’s address it next.
Where do I Find the Time?
Teaching is one of the busiest careers out there. Not only do you work in the classroom, but most of the time, you also have to work when you get home.
So it’s natural that you’re unsure about this Lifelong Learning idea, when there’s barely enough time for friends and family, and your hobbies. What if we told you that there’s a way to incorporate lifelong learning into your other activities?
Hear us out.
Set Your Goals
Take your long-term learning goals, and turn them into bite-sized milestones. Whether it’s “read ten pages a day” our “look over tomorrow’s coursework before bed”, break those goals up, as it makes them more manageable that way. Not to mention you will have a clear, dedicated task each day – much different from signing up for an online course and thinking: “I’ll get to it tomorrow”. This way, you’re being proactive.
The bottom of the list or schedule, you should have a clear end result to each of those small steps. Remind yourself every day of what you’re aiming for.
Alter Your Habits
Do you already have certain habits you wish to kick to the curb? Then this is the perfect time.
For example, have you started to notice that on your commute to school you listen to the radio just to get bombarded with bad news all the time? It has a terrible effect on the psyche, leaving you feeling down for the rest of the day. Try swapping it with listening to an audio book, or a podcast you downloaded earlier.
Another example would be our night routine. Nowadays, we mostly look for entertainment before sleep whether it’s social media on our phones, or the TV. Even if we tell ourselves it’s going to be just fifteen minutes, it turns into a full hour of time wasted. Try to dedicate a few nights of the week to reading before bed, or revising something you learned that day.
Not only will your eyes be thankful, but your brain as well. They won’t be tormented with bright screens and trivial information.
Sprinkle Few Tasks in your Routine
Similarly to the point above, try to sneak your learning goals for the day into your routine. Here are some examples:
- Write down a to-do list with every morning coffee;
- Do some light reading during tests – it’s when the classroom is quiet and you’re still mentally present to supervise;
- If you’re learning a language (or anything a little easier to grasp), use family time to have them help you revise in a fun way;
- Use your experience in the classroom (if you’re learning something related to teaching, like psychology, education, mathematics, music, language…) and even try sharing your learning troubles with students. They’ll appreciate it.
Find a Study Group
A study group can be very useful and by joining one, you’ll kill two birds with one stone. You’ll get to learn while being in a social situation. In a way, you won’t be sacrificing your “hangout time” with the outside world to study. It all comes down to being a little clever and finding ways to make studying fun. And as a group, you can hire a coach on Upskill Coach that will act as a teacher. Not only will it be easier to learn from someone else, but they can help with nurturing these good habits, and with any problem you might encounter.
To sum up
Lifelong learning is a journey. And it’s not one taken up lightly, as it requires you to shift your day-to-day life in many ways. But it’s far from something insurmountable. What you need is to sit down and plan out this process. Taking smaller steps will help you adapt more quickly, and keep you on top of everything that needs to be done. Surround yourself with a good support system, and you’ll stay on the right track.