Life Lessons,  School Leadership

Are You Ready to Take the Lid Off Learning?

How do I become a better learner?

It’s time. I’m ready. I want to take the lid off learning. My learning. And I want to do it so that you might feel brave enough to take the lid off your learning too. Are you in? Shall we do it together?

I feel a big shift happening in education where the culture is saying it’s okay for school leaders to share our thinking, to connect with each other using technology, to bravely publish via social media and blogs. There is an amazing conversation happening online among educators around the world.

This week I’m attending a fabulous conference, the Technology-Enabled Learning and Leading Institute 2015 for Principals and Vice Principals. The room radiates promise for the future of education. Now it’s about action. Change doesn’t start tomorrow. It needs to start today. What am I going to do about it? What role do I want to play?

It’s time to expand my blog to encompass my professional realm with more intention.


How can we actively engage in learning?

I spent a lot of time this summer reflecting on my next steps as a learner. My goals are to start the intentional journey to becoming a “learning engineer,” to be more daring, to learn from influential teachers, and to let my inner geek have free range to binge learn.

Three Problems I Want to Solve (with your help!!)

  1. Fast learning vs. slow learning: How do we move from fast learning to slow learning? How can we narrow our focus and learn more deeply? How can we move past the resistance to critical thinking? How can we turn down the easy solutions and sometimes choose the more arduous thinking path?
  2. Time to be awesome: Learning leads to awesome, and learning is awesome. How do we find time to understand learning and development? How do we track transformation? How can we move our interest in things to a commitment to understanding things better?
  3. Abstract vs. concrete: How do we explore process and practice at the same time without overcomplicating things?  How do we leverage motivation, engagement, and empowerment? What are the best ways to integrate personal and professional learning? Do Zen learning practices exist and where can we find them?

So what is this blog about?

For years I had trouble synthesizing what my “Sunshine in a Jar” blog was about but now I see it clearly. It’s about learning. It has always been about learning.

When we take the lid off the jar, we open ourselves up to change. It symbolizes freedom. We can let things out or put things in. It’s up to the keeper of the jar. I’ve always seen “sunshine in a jar” as being a metaphor for our inner landscape. So what does the inner landscape of our learning look like? When we take the lid off and look inside, what do we see?

Learning goes beyond schools and the workplace. So often we compartmentalize our personal and professional learning but I truly believe that is too restrictive. I am a whole person and all my learning impacts everything I do, regardless of where the learning happens and its initial purpose. Learning is organic, living, moving, and too powerful to be contained in separate jars or separate selves. Learning is potentially in everything, everywhere, and all the time when we pay attention. We are what we learn and what we learn is part of all of us, our whole selves as individuals and collectively as humans.

I hope you’ll join me as I write about my learning at home and at school. Learning is about relationship and connection–it’s about us. Let’s take the lid off our learning and share our observations and insights!

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