Earlier this week, I participated in the #G2Great chat. One of the questions asked “what one word best describes you as a learner?” I had to think about that before posting an answer. There were so many possibilities and I couldn’t decide which word to choose. I thought about words like relentless, enthusiastic, dedicated, and passionate. Then, I thought of something my principal said during an evaluation meeting when she described me as a lifelong learner. The #G2Great question reminded me of that conversation and I realized that “lifelong” should be my one word. I love learning and find myself always wanting to know more. That thirst for knowledge in my professional field led me to graduate school where I first obtained a master’s degree in reading, and am now pursuing my doctorate in reading education. I realized that there was so much that I still wanted and needed to know about literacy. I love to curl up with journals like The Reading Teacher and Reading Research Quarterly and my Kindle, iPad, and bookshelves are filled with professional books on all topics of literacy.
However, my quest for knowledge isn’t only limited to graduate-level classes, but also includes Twitter and the blogosphere, where my PLN supports my need to learn on a daily basis. I love checking out my Twitter feed for ideas and participating in a variety of Twitter chats that further builds my knowledge. The Slice of Life challenge introduced me to so many amazing bloggers and I’ve incorporated blog reading into my daily routine. Again, I am learning so much from these colleagues!
Then, there’s my addiction to conferences and workshops. Even though my bank account shudders each time I sign up for a conference or workshop, I can’t stop. I think that I’ve only missed one VSRA conference since becoming a reading specialist. I’ve also traveled to California and Texas to attend the Literacy Research Association’s annual conferences. I’ve attended the Scholastic Reading Summit and am looking forward to traveling to St. Louis in a couple of weeks for the International Literacy Association’s conference. I love participating in the mini-conferences offered by my local reading council, too. Conferences and workshops provide so many opportunities for learning and growing as a teacher and I cannot imagine what my professional life would look like without them.
Today, I celebrate being a lifelong learner. I celebrate all of the different ways in which I continue to learn. I embrace opportunities to grow each day and I am thankful.