Addicted to Learning

I read “How to Manage Your Time and Learn New Things Every Day” and part of it made me think.

This is exactly my kind of article. It’s about learning and managing time. Perfection. A few things gave me pause, however, and I realized that I must tackle my inner Podcast Mrs. Hebert.

Let me explain…

First, he says, “…the world keeps changing. Nonstop! We are supposed to keep up with all the geniuses, the trends, the news.”

Yes! It is! We are! There is so much out there to learn! There are so many things to read, and it’s so hard to keep up. As soon as I finish something, I feel driven to run to the next thing. I discussed that a bit here.

And then he says, “You have to learn. You have to grow. And in the meantime, you have to stay sane.”

Of course. I HAVE to learn. I HAVE to grow. But staying sane about it? I’m not so good at that.

He describes being “Podcast Todd” and binging on podcasts. That’s me!

I used to run…just about every day…although it has fallen by the wayside lately. During runs I would listen to various podcasts and I loved it. Since that time has gone away (for now), I miss the every day bits of learning and perspective gained. I feel a bit panicky at my list of podcasts piling up, but I make time to listen to the ones I’m really interested in and squeeze in other bits of listening whenever possible. I have to battle the feeling of being “behind.”

I have webinars piled up in my inbox that I watch while washing dishes. I read while folding laundry. I spend a little too much time on Twitter reading “just one more article.”

And then he says, “…he trades out his shift to Thoughtful Todd, the guy who talks to his steering wheel about what he learned from the podcast that morning.”

I’m not so good at this. I want to reflect. I really do. I do a fair job of it in stolen moments. Sitting down to reflect as a practice seems contrived, though. I feel like random grabs of enlightenment (most often in the shower…my best ideas come from that sacred space) are really my best thinking.

Although I do notice myself getting better at it when thinking about what to write in this space. I find my thinking on subjects becoming a little deeper as I think about how I would write them out. Which, I suppose, is the point, right? I’m so slow to catch on sometimes…

I am addicted to learning. I feel that if I’m not shoving something into my brain at all times that I am wasting precious time. (I’ve started reflecting on why this is, and I’ve come up with some interesting tidbits about myself that I’ll share in a coming post.)

It seems that the key here is to learn about the new thing and then take the time to apply the new thing. That doesn’t seem too unrealistic. Unless you’re me.

My approach seems to be to learn the new thing and then learn a few more new things and then squish them together and try to apply them. At that point my idea is usually a bit too big and unwieldy to really be handled completely and efficiently and I implement it most of the way, but then get a bit stalled and I’m not able to see it through. Perhaps getting started with the first idea and then slowly working in the next bits of learning as I go would work better.

As mentioned last week, I’m trying to do better with aligning my actual practice with my belief system and I think being a little more choosy with what I’m letting in through my learn/apply screen will help.

For example… I’m currently reading Who’s Doing the Work? and I love it. I’ve finished the section on read aloud and I’m almost finished with shared reading. I was going to try and finish reading it really fast so that I can really quick get all of my new learning and systems in place before I go back to school in about a week.

And then I realized, that isn’t necessary.

What if I focused on making my read aloud the best it could be? What if I spent some time thinking and implementing a cohesive shared reading routine? What if I didn’t jump right to the next thing without really thinking it over, reflecting on how to make it work best for our classroom context, and implementing it more thoughtfully?

I know that it seems totally logical to you, but I’m usually in hyperdrive when it comes to learning something new and bringing into my classroom space. I’d like to try something a bit different.

Here goes…

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