Updated: 5 days ago
I am a learner. If you don’t know where that comes from, let me tell you because I am a firm believer in Gallup Cliftons’ Strengthfinders theory and practice in the workplace especially but really in all of life’s spaces!
If you do not know your top 5 strengths, I highly urge you to go here (this is the free unofficial version) right now before you read any further. If you're a learner like me, please come back so you can read the rest of my post.
I am learning that learning is cyclical and not stagnant. I am learning that in my learner strength, I could be given the challenge of creating some dynamic presentation on literally any subject matter and I will have this very topic picked apart and diced into little pieces like a sous chef cuts his vegetables! I literally can learn anything because I love the process of learning!
Well, not all of the learning experiences. There is one most recently that I cried my way through to success. Yep, cried! It was a graduate-level course in Educational Statistics.
I am on the hunt for the perfect job! For me! Literally! Fortunately, I make just enough money to survive…in certain places in the world…consequently, this allows me to be so picky. But I think this is how it should be. We should not just apply for any job that we are qualified for. I think it is about culture and fit as it is about qualification.
In search of the perfect job, I have revamped and revamped and revamped again, my portfolio again until I think I have it memorized! Like I want it to accurately represent me but goodness, why? I hate being mortified that there is incorrect grammar or a misspelled word. I cannot afford the full version of Grammarly at this time so I do the best I can – writing-wise!
So in my super focused state of mind yesterday when I was working on the “strengths” area of the portfolio, more specifically, the learner strength. I came across this from the Gallup site (also linked above), regarding learner strength, ” it enables you to thrive in dynamic work environments where you are asked to take on short project assignments and are expected to learn a lot about the new subject matter in a short period and then move on to the next one.”
I was like, what! “That is why I do what I do“, I thought out loud. I had a major epiphany! I am too old for such self-discovery! Yes, that is what we are taught in modernized education systems – school, learning, and education are all synonymous, and “those activities” are a “boring” thing you have to do for the first 17 years of your life almost then after that, you do not have to learn anymore (please make sure you hear the sarcasm in my voice). It is funny that we are fashioned to continue that same thought process by saying, I have to go to college to make the money I want to make! That sucks! This mindset towards learning and education is terrible and inaccurately misrepresents the heart of learning.
School systems have become a place of conformity and competition. I am not mad at either of those qualities, I just do not think they fit in a learning environment.
Then, on that same day, my son, who made me the expert educator that I am today, sent me this video! (also embedded below). I was dying! Yep! I need to get on this train! Wait! I thought I had been on that train (the topic of this discussion)! I started that train back in 1999, no lie! What train? This train, the topic of discussion – messed up school systems that have undermined true learning!
I will save that story for another post! The story of my resignation from the military to home school my son, the same one who sent a video about education as we know it! Take a listen! Wow, this whole situation truly changed me, the fact that he is seeing what I saw over 20 years ago!
The gist, though, as best as I can summarize such a robust and complex topic, is that we were fashioned to conformity and to be receivers of information instead of engagers of information! This makes a big difference in the human you mold into an adult. Even when this mindset is used in parenting, it often fails. Humans are built and wired for creativity, it is that simple!
“…messed up school systems that have undermined true learning!”
If you have read some of my other blog posts on boys, education, and parenting then you know that Xaviar is my eldest son, who gave me a run for my money the first ten years of his life. By the age of 10, he had broken his arm twice, had two surgeries, and had multiple wounds all from his own doing, no accidents, just Xaviar being X-man! He was and still is super inquisitive about everything (he is for sure a learner), and loved to explore, and see and do new things! How perfect, that during these ages we were stationed in Okinawa, Japan, so those years were filled with change and excitement. We explored that island every chance we had. But in school, where children sit at a desk and receive information, one is not able to explore the world, one can not choose what they want to learn, and sadly, nor is one taught how to learn, how to appreciate and cooperate with the learning process.
There will likely be a “Part 2” to this topic specifically because there are so many details to uncover within the lines of this blog post. Stay tuned.
For now, though, I will continue to embrace my learner strength and I hope that my passion for learning will remain contagious to those around me!
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