When Learning Stops

I want to say that the summer of 2011 is the summer of learning for me. First, as many as you know, I do have a job for the fall. However, it is not in Mathematics, but rather in Science. So as I am going through the summer, I am learning new standards as well as information that I will need for to know for the coming fall.

That is not all the learning that I’m doing this year. I’m 30 years old and I am taking on a new love. Bike riding. I am learning a lot of information about riding, and I’m not sure when I will stop learning. What to wear. What to carry with you. How to ride differently on different roads. There is so much to learn.

At times, I can feel overwhelmed but what I need to know to ride. It isn’t that easy. I could just give up! However, this past Thursday when I had friends pushing me as I rode, telling me that I could continue to the gravel and not take the road, I was inspired. I was excited, and I pushed hard. Yes, I was the last one to finish. Yes, it was around 95 degrees  Fahrenheit. Yes, it was my longest ride ever. Yes, it was 75% gravel. But I did it! I was excited and had many share in the joy that I had succeeded.

This is how we as teachers need to be. I am a teacher of Mathematics, soon to be a teacher of Science. However, these wonderful friends that I have been riding bicycle with have other jobs other than teaching. Yet, they are teachers. They are teaching me how to be a successful rider. They are teaching me habits of what I need to do.

Is it easy for me to be honest and say that I know very little about a subject? Yes, it is. Well. . . .it’s the same for students.

We as teachers need to remember that students may struggle, but won’t admit that they don’t know something. They may feel they they will look dumb in your, or worse, their friends eyes. Students don’t always speak up when they are struggling. Also, we need to celebrate with students when they do well. When they are successful, we need to share that joy with them.

Learning never stops. . . . .until the student wants to give up. Not talking with students, not going to them to help, not celebrating with students will be helping them want to give up. Remember this as you are learning and teaching.

We as adults have the strive to learn, where students need to have confidence built up in them to be this way. Please help students as they learn and show them how exciting life can be when we learn!

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About Anthony Purcell

I am Anthony Purcell and I am currently teaching math in Oklahoma.
This entry was posted in Bicycle, Bike Ride, Education, Learning, School, Summer 2011, Teaching. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to When Learning Stops

  1. GingerTPLC says:

    I hope this summer of learning has been fueled by the seeds that were planted at TPLC. 😉 So glad your summer is so invigorating and exciting!

  2. James says:

    Way to go Anthony! Keep riding when you can. Train smart, listen to your body, and take the old doctor’s advice “If it hurts when you do that, don’t do that”. Rest when you need to rest.

    Isn’t it amazing when we learn things from people who don’t consider themselves teachers? I guess it’s part of the attitude that we all know lots of “stuff”, just nobody asks us the right questions. Have fun!

  3. onionskin1 says:

    Nice parallel. This has not been a summer of learning for me yet, but that part will begin for me soon, as I am beginning training for SMARTboard certification. Your post got me thinking about how I have enjoyed a little “down time” from learning, and about how I’m feeling pressured to learn what I need *in order to be able to teach my peers*… so, in some part, I’m not really enjoying it for the sheer joy of learning. I wonder how often we put our students in this situation, unintentionally…

  4. I enjoyed this blog post, Anthony, especially your comparison between riding and teaching. As someone who has put some miles on a bike, and some years in the library & classroom, I understand your feelings. It’s easy to give up, both on the bike, and in the classroom. Hills, heat, lack of training vs kids who aren’t getting it, lack of preparation, dealing with policy & colleagues – those are the things that make riding and teaching not much fun. Enjoy your learning this summer.

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