Do you love to learn?

Love of learning

I look at the teachers with whom I work and the presenters at conferences which I attend and I see the difference passion makes. If they love what they do, their learners are infected by their enthusiasm.  If  it’s ‘ just a job’, it affects the whole learning experience.

If  we care about literature and love to read, we are more likely to foster a love of reading in our students. Teachers who are inquirers themselves will provoke curiosity in their learners. If we are thinkers ourselves, we can more effectively build a culture of thinking in our classes.

I think if teachers love to learn, they instil a love of learning in their students, without even trying.

Do you think you need to love learning to be a teacher?

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18 thoughts on “Do you love to learn?

  1. I believe in order to be a great teacher you need to love learning. I have always been passionate about social studies and I didn’t care how crazy my students thought I was I wanted to have my enthusiasm shine through and I know that it made them enjoy the content more.

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  2. I do think we need to love learning to be really effective teachers. I see myself as a truly successful teacher if the students don’t need me any longer; if they are willing and able to take control of their learning I have done my job. You can’t do that without loving to learn and showing them that passion.

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  3. I agree that loving learning is important to teaching. However when we talk about loving learning we are often talking about a specific part of that learning that interests us. The real challenge is to take an aspect of learning that doesn’t interest us and work on becoming a more effective educator in that area. That is one of the reasons that I love teaching primary school kids, (US K12) under 11 years old, as over the last 20 years there has been a constant pressure to continue learning in so many different ways.

    I also think loving learning is a way of keeping my thought processes flexible. As I age in body the temptation is to become inflexible in my thinking. By constantly realising that I have new things to learn and challenging areas I think I might have ‘cracked’ I hope to remain relevant and flexible.

    Reading your blog helps this process.

    Thank you

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  4. I totally agree. What I always find remarkable is the number of teachers who refuse to engage with new technologies or methodologies out of a fear of being made look like they are not ‘expert’. At a time when access to knowledge was restricted to a select few it was important for teachers to be ‘experts’ however with advancements in information technology I believe that today it is more important for teachers to be life-long learners than experts.

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  5. I agree completely. The best teachers are the biggest learners. They are enthusiastic about all the new things they are learning and share that enthusiasm with their students. Last year when I attended the Google Teacher Academy the presenters were called “lead learners” which to me sums up the role of teachers.

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  6. yes Yes and YES. I hope that my mind never closes to new ways of doing things. My last experience I learned so much from my students as well as my co-workers. If I know everything, then perhaps its time to move on to something different.

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  7. I love to be a learner whose students become the teacher – it’s amazing how much knowledge flows out of them once they are infected with your own enthusiasm for learning no matter the subject

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  8. A good teacher absolutely must love to learn.

    How else would one model being a life-long learner for students?

    How would a teacher who doesn’t love to learn inspire inquiry?

    Unfortunately, many teachers entered the profession because they loved school, not learning. This is part of the reason that we have such inertia in the status quo.

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  9. Yes, although I think there’s more to it than that. I know of a few teachers who love learning but don’t like kids (weird that they’re even teachers! I think Tyler’s comment that they ‘loved school’ applies). Their passion for their topic is lost because they don’t get the kids and the kids know it. I think you need a love of working with children first, then a love of learning second. A love of learning can be lost to the students if there is no teacher/student rapport or relationship in the first place.

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  10. Someone who doesn’t love to learn is a dead man walking.

    My 16yo came home frustrated from school one day and began to complain about some of her teachers; she summed it all up when she shouted, “all I really expect of my teachers is that they be really passionate about the subjects they teach.” Teachers who are passionate are eager to learn all they can about a subject, and pass that learning, and passion, along.

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  11. I think passion is a necessary ingredient for great teaching! A few issues back, the IB World magazine had a cover-story “If the teacher’s not on fire, neither are the students”. http://www.ibo.org/ibworld/jan2011/index.cfm

    However, the question posted by Edna states do teachers need to love learning? I think the answer is yes, but teachers do not need to love “formal” learning…we can teach our selves (as evident through followers of this blog), the days of “titles” to prove we love learning are gone from my mind.

    Anyone singing up for a doctoral program soon?

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  12. Absolutely! Students always know whether you are interested in learning or not. You become a mirror…they reflect your enthusiasm and passion, or lack of it, back to you.

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  13. Boy, I wish you could all come to my graduate exhibit this coming weekend. I’ve spent nearly two years documenting how learners and educators feel about education at the high school level. Empathy from educators seems to be one of the most desired behaviors that learners need.

    If you have a moment, here’s more info about the installation: http://bit.ly/mI8ay0

    And my website on the issue: http://wiredtolearn.ca/

    Thanks for your post!

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  14. Yes! What you said🙂

    I’m a language teacher who has a passion for learning languages – consequently I have students who like / love languages and learning them.

    Greetings from Finland. – Rita –

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  15. Thanks for all the comments! I have continued to think about this in relation to comments made here and also on Twitter and in ‘real life’!
    I need to clarify that I was NOT talking abut loving your subject or loving kids or loving teaching, while all those might be important. I was talking about teachers as learners, being intellectually curious and being excited by their own learning. That’s a different thing, isn’t it?

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