It’s that time of year when the Season in which we are expected to be jolly has passed and the school bells are soon to ring in the New Year. Here’s yours truly on Christmas Jumper day on end-of-term Friday, standing by the tree at Senior Boys, showing some of the hampers soon to off into our local community via the Lions, Foodshare and the Salvation Army. I had the photo taken because I had been invited to write a Fly-on-the-wall end of term item for Schools Week, one of the professional journals that report on Education matters, and they wanted a photo to go with the article. You can read that here: https://goo.gl/duUFz2. It struck me that in line with the 9 lessons and carols, Tim Minchin’s 9 life lessons, it was time I added to the set of 9 with my own 9 lessons for learning, gathered over the 42 years I have been a teacher. Where possible, a bit like the advent calendar, I have tried to illustrate a little more with a link to something more luscious.
- If you can do but one thing to help others learn, be kind, both to them and yourself.
- If you are planning to teach, know your stuff.
- If you are planning to learn, sleep well, and in between try to ‘know’ stuff by learning it.
- Whether you are planning to teach or planning to learn, do so with a passion.
- As teachers and learners, keep your eyes on the ‘near horizon’ so you know where you are going, but keep them open for other possibilities along the way.
- Understand your intelligence arise from 3 parts – a. your cognitive efficiency (brain-power, mainly down to short-term memory) b. crystallised intelligence (stuff you know) and c. fluid intelligence (how you see patterns, make links across areas and use logic), and in knowing what you use best, work with that whilst seeking to improve the other bits.
- Lead a rich and diverse life at whatever your age; interleaving and spacing what you do, and see and listen to with lots of other activities, which helps ‘grow’ your fluid intelligence.
- Get lucky by practicing lots, by learning stuff by rote and putting that learning under pressure by testing yourself.
- Keep striving. Achievements open doors; sometimes those achievements are paper-based, such as GCSE and A level grades and get you a place on a training programme or at University, others are practical, such as passing your driving test or an ‘open mike’ night audition, which give you new opportunities. Never give up, because actually none of us ever do…
So, please do have a great Learning Year in 2018, bearing in mind that that we are forever forgetting. Though that is another post.