I Love Teaching: Never Stop Learning
Becoming a lifelong learner is admirable in my book. Learning a new skill, concept, or way of thinking can be exhilarating and play a big role in defining who we are. Yet often we are not certain where to start or how to best explore our interests, our ideas, and our passions.
Learning how to learn may not always be easy, but the rewards can be bountiful. Recently I was working with an adult who was reading an important passage from a book. He said, “I know there’s more to this. I know there is a deeper meaning. I just don’t know how to figure it out.”
This caused me to reflect on the ways in which I analyze for deeper understanding of what I am reading. At first, I thought, “I don’t know how I do it. I just do it.” Finally, I had to read the passage for myself to gain insight into my methodology. In order to teach this skillset, I had to break the process up into small, clear pieces:
- Read the passage.
- Determine the main idea.
- Read the first sentence.
- Underline any words you believe are important in the first sentence.
- Ask yourself:
- Why was this word chosen?
- What other meanings could it have?
- How does this word impact the meaning of the sentence?
- Connect the sentence with yourself:
- Does the sentence make sense to you?
- Do you agree or disagree with what was said?
- Does the statement remind you of anything from your own experiences and your own life?
- How can I apply or use this information?
- Repeat for the last sentence.
The first and last sentences are key because they often introduce and summarize the paragraph. You can then choose anything that interests you from the middle.
The person I was working with tested out this procedure with me. He was very happy to have a tool for helping him to analyze text that is important to him. Now he can do this on his own.
I love teaching!