When I was working I was constantly learning new things. Whether I liked it or not, there was always something new. A new improved way of doing something that had always been done, or a new routine to incorporate into the myriad of routine routines that filled my day. Training days were built into our calendar. I regularly attended conferences and workshops. I kept on top of the game and enjoyed sharing all the tricks of the trade that I had learned with my coworkers. Then I retired…
I am no longer at the top of my game. I was surprised at how quickly I fell behind in the use of technology. The technology has just gotten so much better in the three years since I retired. I was responsible for purchasing the first three smart boards in our school district, and now I need the assistance of an 8th grader to turn one on! One of the things I enjoy about substituting on an irregular basis is the opportunity to learn. The students freely share their knowledge with me. I think they like being the experts. I learned how to text from an expert high school student.
Living in a rural community I don't have access to a lot of organized learning opportunities. As I read the blogs of my peer group I am envious of the workshops and classes available in metropolitan areas. But the lack of organized instruction is not preventing me from exposure to new ideas. The Internet has filled the void for me. I am learning things from Pinterest that I never even knew I needed to know. Want to know how to grow cucumbers, clean your floors, or use social media to promote your blog? These are all topics that I read about last week on Pinterest. (Okay, I wasn’t really all that interested in cleaning my floors, but the floor cleaner with all natural ingredients does a great job and it’s cheap.)
I ran across a great quote from Henry Ford:
"Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty.” -Henry Ford
It doesn't matter how old we are, or how we learn, it's the joy of learning that keeps us relevant.