Back to School: What are You Learning?

It’s hard to believe that summer vacation is nearly over when it has barely begun.  School is starting earlier all the time and kids have to get ready to focus on learning new material.  I used to be a teacher and school counselor and the beginning of the school year was always an exciting time full of possibilities and opportunities.  As a child, I felt the same way about school and looked forward to the first day of the new school year.  I loved the smell of the new paint, newly waxed floors, textbooks, paper, pencils, crayons, etc.  Everything about school signaled a new beginning!!

Do you remember how you felt about the first day of school?  Did you look forward to it with anticipation?  Or were you one of the students who faced it with dread?  How do you approach learning new things today?  Do you look forward to it and welcome the challenge?  Or do you dig in your heels and complain about having to learn something new?

Sometimes learning is thrust upon us at work.  Sometimes you have to learn new software or adjust to a new computer and computer system.  Some of us are required to earn CEU’s (Continuing Education Units) for our professions while others are required to get specialized training through their employers.  Learning for our work life is not the only type of learning in which we engage. 

Informally, we learn how to relate to families, friends, coworkers, neighbors and others.  We learn about ourselves, our likes, dislikes, strengths, weaknesses, etc.  We learn about news and current events in the world, in our state and in our cities.  We learn how to repair something or how to make a new recipe. Is there something that you have wanted to learn but have put off?  What about taking some time to schedule something you want to learn?

As we embark upon the beginning of the new school year, I ask you to consider what you are looking forward to learning.  Although you may choose to take a college class or course of study, you don’t have to be formally enrolled in classes to be a willing learner.  There are so many opportunities to learn new things or to brush up on skills, training or knowledge that there is no excuse for not learning something new!  You can learn anything from “how to tile a bathroom” to “how to bake a cake” on YouTube.  You can take teleclasses, webinars, online classes, personal interest classes at your local community college, or you can check out books on any topic of interest.  You can also ask somebody to teach you a skill you want to learn (such as how to make Grandma’s favorite meatloaf).

As the children and college students in our community prepare to begin their new cycle of learning, I challenge you to learn something new, too.  Make it something you are excited about and you will find that learning something new can be exciting, fun and rewarding!

This article was posted in the Coach's Corner of the ASTD Newsletter for August  2015.  You can reach Kolleen through this website, Linked In, Facebook or by calling her at (402) 499-5547.  She offers workshops, small groups and individual life coaching on a variety of topics to help you create the life you dream of but haven't been able to achieve.  She is writing a book on creating a balanced life and will be offering workshops on this topic, soon.