Becoming a True Learning Person

(Originally published on LinkedIn.)

In one of his articles about “Learning Organizations,” Jim Collins presents the challenge to become a true “Learning Person”:

How would your day be different if you organized your time, energy, and resources primarily around the objective of learning, instead of performance? For many people, their daily activities — what they do and how they go about doing it — would be dramatically changed. Indeed, despite all the buzz around the concept of the “learning organization,” I’m struck by how few people seem to have embraced the idea of being a true learning person.

As educators who strive to create “learning environments,” how do we act as role models for learning?

I know that many of us — especially anyone reading this post — try to do this daily. Collins was addressing an audience of non-educators in this statement above, but I can’t help but reflect on the fact that even within the education field we have some administrators and some teachers who fail to be “learning people” in their work. They act as if they are experts — the authorities on the subject matter or on management of the school… and this is where too often we fail in education. We fail to be “learning people” — people focused on continuous improvement by learning more about our students, our work, our learning environments, and our future.

Imagine what all of our schools — our “learning organizations” — would look like if everyone on the campus and within the district offices became true learning people.

If you are reading this then I assume that you are a “learning person.” Here is my challenge to you:

How do you or how will you model this way of being — of being a “learning person” — to other educators, to administrators, and to your students? How will you do this today?