To which extent do we benefit from the experiences we go through? Do we truly learn from the courses we attend or the workshops we participate in?In my journey as an educator, I became passionate about learning. I understood that to be up to the fast developing world, I can’t be a role model for my students unless I’m in a constant state of growth. Attending workshops and courses, sometimes participants would complain that it had no value or it wasn’t truly beneficial.
To ensure that I get the best out of my learning experiences, I adopted four strategies I use during any training I attend. First, I always take notes. Second, I have a section in my notebook where I register the teaching strategies the instructor uses, even if they are bad so that I avoid them in my teaching. Third, I jot down any resources he mentions, whether a book, a website, a famous person, a shop, anything that I can refer to or visit after the course. Fourth, I would write the content that was given in my own handwriting, even if we were given a printed copy of the material, this helps me remember what I was taught.
After any workshop or course, I give myself an obligatory homework to read the notes again and summarise them in a sort of mind map in terms of: my teachings strategies, what I will explore, how will I integrate it in my life. Afterwards, I do a check list with the things I need to do to apply what I learned. For example I need to order a book from Amazon, I need to watch a video on YouTube, I need to give examples while teaching, I need to give more space for questions, I need to listen more while dealing with my associates; applying the concept of empathy the instructor had explained.
It sounds long and demanding, however, these strategies have altered my life. An hour or two after any learning experience turn it from average into a life changing one. If I won’t practice what I learn, why wasting time to learn from the first place? To learn is to do, not to do is not to learn.