Yesterday morning, I addressed our support staff as they began their day of learning. It is an annual event that coincides with Teachers’ Convention and invites ALL of our support staff to come together for an opportunity to learn. You see, learning or being a learner is not owned by only the teaching profession. Learning or being a learner is owned by everyone.
Successful organizations today must be learner focused. Organizations that fail to learn, cease to exist. People who choose not to learn or whose arrogance (these are the ones who frustrate me the most) inhibits learning face a similar fate. While they may not cease to exist like organizations, they generally become irrelevant or obsolete and unfortunately are seen as loners who don’t get along well with others. Sadly, we all have those people working in our organizations!
One of the most profound quotes that I use often when speaking about learning comes from Eric Hoffer.
In a time of drastic change it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned usually find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists.
Learning causes us to grow and change. A change through learning is far more sustainable than any change caused by persuasion or by force. It creates a connection and becomes part of you (Anthony Muhammad). It is what is needed to lose our myopic views, shed our egos and gain multiple perspectives. It is what allows us to acknowledge that there might just be a different point of view or another way of doing things.
We are living in some of the most tumultuous times in in history. Change is inevitable but sadly growth is optional. Whether we talk about large scale corporations or school divisions or individuals, learning is required to meet the challenges we will continually face into the future. School systems in particular, can ill afford to offer learning to only teaching staff. We must create a culture where learning is for everyone and an environment where all are open to it!
The two chairs of the organizing committee, Jane Meeker (President of CUPE1825) and Michelle MacKinnon (Director of Support Services) require significant thanks for their leadership as does the entire committee for their work. There was great energy, strong camaraderie and a lot of what I love to hear the most…laughter. Well done everyone…it was a great day!