On my way down to North Carolina, with a best friend from childhood, we talked about our love for educating ourselves. We talked about life’s challenges and how our curiosity has led us down different aisles of learning with various topics lining the shelves. One of these topics, for example, was learning a foreign language.
He talked about a recent visit to Brazil that sparked an interest in him learning Portuguese. He then told me about a program he found online that allowed him to prepare to learn the language independently using various resources. Fueled by his passion to learn Portuguese he is doing just that!
Passion equals doing what you like because it interests you. Sometimes that means teaching yourself. I call it learning how you learn, but my friend coined it as learning to teach yourself. Either way it opens up the ideal that everyone should be able to teach themselves. With regards to education, I feel this is one key that opens up opportunities to learn without boundaries and to grow from the world and your experiences.
As an educator, I tailor my class to be independent. The autonomy I create allows for unique and personalized learning experiences with an accent of my guidance as an instructor. Every class I teach includes differentiated instruction because every student I teach learns differently. One of my goals is to create confidence within them that enables them to learn anything without me.
Case in point is the Genius Hour (20% Time) project we have just embarked on. I think I gave a great introduction to this venture and I did this by setting the stage and giving them the autonomy to explore and learn whatever they choose. I mentioned this because it seems as if this is a great way to teach yourself to learn.
The long and short of Genius Hour is to choose a topic that you want to explore in some way and dedicate some time to do that. The amount of time you spend exploring the topic or the duration of the project overall is totally up to you. Blogging is expected to monitor your progress of exploration. Finally wrapping up your project consists of sharing out whatever you discovered irrespective of the results. The journey is more important than the conquest! Sharing what you learned from the journey teaches us that we can learn from our own quests too.