Thing #1 – Reflections on Lifelong Learning

For my first blog post in 7 years (things have changed a bit since then) I will reflect on the fifteen halves (math teachers don’t like mixed numbers) habits of effective lifelong learners.  I found the video to be interesting and found that most of the habits are things that either come naturally to me, or things that I already keep in mind.  However, there were a few habits that I picked out that I thought would be more important for me to keep in mind than others.  I found the comments from my colleagues to be particularly interesting.  I look forward to reading their reflections and commenting on them.

The habit I will find most challenging in this course is to “Begin With the End in Mind.”  During my student teaching at the University of Michigan several of my instructors stressed the point of this habit.  In designing lesson plans this came in handy as I always knew the final goal that I and the students had to reach.  It was incredibly useful in lesson planning because I always knew how to shape individual lesson plans to meet the final goal.  The only problem I had with it was that it sometimes streamlined the process a bit too much which is not the best way to learn (I find that people need a little chaos to keep things interesting).

Since coming to Fryeburg Academy and teaching a full load every day of the school year, this habit has gone by the wayside.  I often find myself living day to day, with only a vague idea of what the end goal is.  I have been working on improving it and it has slowly gotten better.  In terms of this class I think that I need to sit down and think what I really want to accomplish.  I need to know what I want to end with so I can work toward that goal (or those goals).  If I happen to learn other things on the way, maybe I can integrate them.  An end goal will keep me organized, something I have found to be completely lacking during the first few days of summer.

The habit I will find least challenging is “Play.”  I have always liked playing around with technology and figuring things out, unless something is completely illogical and non-intuitive.  I can usually figure things out and learn things on the way.  I hope everyone else is able to enjoy this aspect of learning as much as I do.  I know it’s not the case though from observations I have made of my mother and technology.  To her credit, her ability to play around with technology has grown rapidly over the last few years.

The habit that I think is most important is to “View Problems as Challenges.”  I think it is incredibly important to learn the process of problem solving.  Working hard to overcome an obstacle is one of the most rewarding experiences of learning.  I don’t know if I’ll be challenged with anything technological in this course, but I am sure that I will be challenged to think about and accept ideas that I don’t subscribe to (I’ll get to this in Thing #2).  I think that thinking about these problems and collaborating with others will allow me to grow in ways that I can’t yet forsee.

One of my hopes for this course is that I will be able to find ways of using technology to engage my future students.  Who knows, maybe I’ll even ask them to create blogs, not for the purpose of blogging, but simply to make them play around with the technology and problem solve.  Of course, if you have any ideas about how I might use technology to facilitate problem solving, I’m all ears (or eyes).  Please leave your comments below.

One thought on “Thing #1 – Reflections on Lifelong Learning

  1. Oh you young people. I am glad there are a lot of people like you at the academy who are comfortable with and can use these technologies so you can help the rest of us. Your challenge is going to be finding ways to use one or more of these web apps in your classes, if you are so moved. Fortunately throughout the course there are lots of links pointing you to what other educators are doing. Check out this blog,, for inspiration! This class is writing their book.


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