When’s the last time you learned something new?

When you’re responsible for facilitating system professional learning, the key to future success is to build safety and relationships asap, and then leverage that culture to open up dialogue and push learning forward.  When you’re the ‘new kid on the block’ at a school, I wondered about doing the same thing.

Just one of the ways we’ve encouraged teachers to be open to learning has been to share the following Vimeo video clip:  LEARN. It’s a short clip that follows 3 guys across 11 countries over 44 days, 18 flights, 38 thousand miles…all in an effort to push the envelope around learning something new everyday.

LEARN vimeo

We talk about the clip and while it is an engaging, bucket list series of vignettes, it can serve as a provocation to ask:

When is the last time YOU learned something new? and how did it make you feel?

I know we think we learn new things everyday, but do we? And what does it mean to really learn?  Harvey and Daniels claim that you’ve truly learned when there is a change in behaviour as a result.

We love this video because it also serves to create some empathy for our students since we put them in the position of being a learner everyday. In fact, I shared this video clip just last week at my new school for the same reason. What does it feel like when you learn something new? How do you respond when you don’t ‘get it’ right away? What are the ideal conditions for learning? In collaboration? Independently? What role does the coach play? What do you notice the coach/teacher doing/saying in this clip? How does the element of fun leverage motivation?

An ideal way to try on the shoes of a beginner learner is to intentionally put yourself in a place of discomfort. And then reflect.

An additional benefit of doing something new also creates the illusion of the time lasting longer.  Recently on twitter, I read an article in the Science of Us that explores how seeking out newness provides rewards we may not realize:

To Make the Weekend Last Longer, Try Something New, by Cari Romm

Imagine we could do that all summer long! When we are immersed in new surroundings, new people, new activities, we are so focussed on processing information and trying to make connections to what we already know, that it makes the time seem to last longer.

So remember to ‘lay down’ some memories this summer by trying something new. What new learning will you chase this summer?



2 thoughts on “When’s the last time you learned something new?

  1. Excellent insight Annette! You’ve hit the bullseye my friend. Bang on with everything you’ve said. You hear it said it’s all about relationships well it’s really all about trusting relationships and once established as you said then the learning agenda can move forward . I wonder how many of our team intentionally seeks to build trust first with their students prior to pushing the learning agenda forward ? The pedagogical/ leadership approach you’re taking in your new school
    applies to the classroom too !


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