Life Long Learning
by Diane Hichborn, Middle School Teacher
Recently, I had the wonderful opportunity to sit in on our headmaster, Louise Stilphen’s ballroom dance class and watch in amazement as she moved with ease across the floor in a lovely bejeweled gown. She followed the steps of the instructor, collaborated with other dancers, and practiced her moves. Two days earlier, Louise was showing pictures of her competition dress to me and two of my young impressionable students. She told of how she used to do ballet and was now learning ballroom dancing. I could see by the expression in her face and the excitement in her voice what this new learning experience meant to her.
Life long learning is what we as good humans need to accomplish for both personal and professional development. We do this by creating and maintaining a positive attitude and setting goals towards each learning experience. We are all born with natural curiosities and as a teacher at Sparhawk School, I find that my own curiosities get me excited to explore new topics to share with my students. I am a designer, but I have never thought about designing sneakers, for a sport called; Parkour. Non the less, last year I found myself learning the anatomy of sneaker design along side my group of eager middle schoolers. It was a fantastic project-base learning opportunity with a great ending. Along the journey students learned math and science skills by using them in a real life application. Projects like this afford enriching moments for students to experience the love to learn more.
It is part of our teaching at Sparhawk to make certain that when students move on to the next level, they don’t see an end to the old, but take ownership and leadership of what they have achieved and gain the confidence towards achieving new tasks. While I watched Louise that night at the dance studio, I could see that she had the the spirit of adventure and the willingness to learn.