Thursday, August 21, 2008

Lifelong Learning Role Model

Growing up I observed my mother constantly absorb new things. As an adult she was presented the opportunity to go to college. We even took a couple French classes together! What a pair we were - mother & daughter sitting in the front row sharing a textbook. I know she worried about how I felt about us being in the same class but I truly enjoyed our time together. We are very different in our approaches to learning (and sometimes in our interests) but she has always modeled the behavior. I don't know if it is a conscious effort but nevertheless I have been fortunate to witness first hand what it means to be a lifelong learner. It is my sincere hope that I can be the same model for my daughter.

When reflecting on the 7 1/2 habits of lifelong learners, I can easily say my strongest is building the toolbox. And maybe that is the librarian instinct. Once I am interested in a topic I seeking out every resource available until my knowledge of the subject is full - books, websites, movies, people. My husband jokes that I become obsessed and then just move on.

What I find difficult is teaching/mentoring. Usually my interest is unremarkable in the minds of others and the knowledge fulfillment is gratuitous. And maybe this isn't completely true - my husband, the nearly reformed reluctant reader, has benefited from many a booktalk. He has always said he doesn't "need to read because Beth will just tell me about it." And it could be argued that the learning required for my job is all shared with others...

Oh... I don't know... more self-reflection... maybe.