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Shortcast: Be As Good A Student As You Are A Teacher

This thought-provoking shortcast is all about the importance of lifelong for educators.

The inspiration for this shortcast came from a conversation that I had with a mentor who said we can’t be innovative in our teaching or thoughts when we have stopped learning and growing. This emphasizes the need for educators to be not only excellent teachers but also exemplary students. This resonated for two reasons:

  • Lifelong learning is essential. Learning shouldn’t stop after formal education. We acquire knowledge and skills formally and informally throughout our lives.
  • Stagnant learning hinders growth. If we stop seeking knowledge from unexpected places, we cease to develop and grow.

argues that simply being in an academic setting doesn’t guarantee growth.  Observing and imitating bad behaviors can be detrimental.  In fact, some academics become stagnant in their learning and growth.

The impact of this stagnation goes beyond the individual. It affects colleagues, students, and the entire higher education system.

There’s a lot happening in the world – new knowledge is emerging at every turn and educators must be proactive in staying informed about these critical issues.

There are two key aspects of fostering a growth mindset:

  • Cultivate a culture of growth: Encourage students and colleagues to take risks and explore new ideas.
  • Embrace lifelong learning: Commit to continuous learning and growth to shape a better future.

This requires collaboration and collective effort.  We must be open to new ideas and listen to diverse perspectives.

Key takeaways:

  • Lifelong learning is essential for educators to stay relevant and effective.
  • Educators must embrace a growth mindset and create a culture of learning for themselves and their students.
  • Collaboration and open-mindedness are crucial for creating a more sustainable and equitable learning environment.

Academics face many challenges struggling to survive in demanding environments that may not prioritize well-being.  These environments may even violate their core values.

The reasons for staying in such settings can vary from financial security, tenure, recognition, or simply because it’s the only familiar option.

All of this is true, but it is also important to recognize the importance of an academic’s role in shaping a positive and inclusive academic culture.

So, how can educators become better lifelong learners?

Here are a few  suggestions for self-reflection:

  • What narratives are you clinging to that are no longer serving you?
  • Who are you in the academic space, and who do you aspire to be?
  • Does your current academic environment align with your aspirations?
  • What do you need to learn or unlearn to reach your full potential?

Use these prompts as a starting point for journaling and self-discovery. We’d love to hear your thoughts on this. 

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