Wednesday, November 07, 2007

#2 Lifelong Learning Habits

Helene Blower’s Seven and 1/2 Habits of Highly Successful Lifelong Learners:

  • Habit 1: Begin with the end in mind

  • Habit 2: Accept responsibility for your own learning

  • Habit 3: View problems as challenges

  • Habit 4: Have confidence in yourself as a competent, effective learner

  • Habit 5: Create your own learning toolbox

  • Habit 6: Use technology to your advantage

  • Habit 7: Teach/mentor others

  • Habit 7 ½: Play

Being responsible for my own learning probably comes easiest to me—I suspect this is true for many of my school librarian colleagues. Because we work in isolation, it’s easy to get lost in the faculty professional development shuffle. Our district tries hard to provide development activities for all employees. Because there are so many of us and we have such diverse needs, my professional learning opportunities are limited to what’s offered to others. Frequently, I attend trainings on how to use applications that I don’t have access to (such as SASI, our student management system). Last year we had a training on reading in the content areas—much to the chagrin of some of my co-workers who attended the same training in three different locations. To learn the things I need to know to do my job effectively, I must be responsible. I’m a member of several listservs, attend trainings provided by my state organization, and someday I hope to be permitted to attend our state school librarian’s conference—our district limits the number of people in a department who are permitted to attend any one conference. I won’t permit these types of limitations from helping me to engage professionally, so I seek other avenues of learning. SLL2.0 is a perfect ProD activity for me because I’m able to do it on my own time and to learn as much as I choose. I’ll be glad to share my learning with colleagues when we have the opportunity.

The most difficult of these habits for me is viewing problems as challenges and learning opportunities. Particularly if challenges are technology-related, it is easy to become frustrated. As we continue through the 23 things, there will be more that I will have to do at home and less I can work on during my time at school. I know that some 2.0 tools like YouTube are blocked by our district’s filter. (Ironically, students can still stream video on sites like because that’s not the site’s lone purpose.) I understand that some people in my building have been given access to override the filter and I hope I’m able to secure a username and password to do the same.

I love that Habit 7.5 is Play: each day when I pick up my son from daycare/preschool, I ask him what he did. His answer never varies, “Just play all the time.” My aunt was the education coordinator for the Head Start side of this agency. They use the Creative Curriculum. I complained to her (not that I thought that AJ wasn’t learning, but that he didn’t think he was learning anything) and she reassured me that it was important for him to think that he is playing and that learning isn’t necessarily work. So, everyday when I ask him what he did at school, I’m glad to hear his “played all the time” response, even though John and I habitually mouth the answer to one another as he’s saying it. Play is important—and he is learning!

1 comment:

  1. Short and simply but very informative! thanks for sharing this with me!

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