In a society where information is at the ready in an instant, you would think that I would talk about the importance of not taking in too much information. Today I do want to take a few moments to highlight the importance of staying informed and how it can benefit you as an adult.
As a math teacher I have dedicated myself to the task of staying on top of the latest techniques and tricks of the trade. When I was in college, my area of concentration was history, I am not a math teacher by trade. Upon graduation, most of the teaching jobs in education had something to do with math or English/Language Arts. Seeing how I am not much of a fan of English, I tried my hand at math. This means that I had to dedicate myself to staying informed about how to teach it correctly. One of my early teaching flaws was thinking I could instruct math in the same manner I was taught when I was in grade school. The problem is this: I began teaching in 2015, the last time I was in grade school was 2000. In that fifteen years school makeup changed, technology became more advanced and I went from an 11 year old 5th grader to a 26 year old man who had loans to payoff. One of the first things I did when I got my first teaching job was subscribe to National Council for the Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). NCTM is an organization that unites math teachers across the country to collaborate, network and discuss the latest happenings in our discipline. Resting on the fact that I “knew” how to teach math would be disingenuous to my promise to be a life long learner that most teachers are highly encouraged to do.
Even in aspects of life where you may consider yourself an “expert”, I believe there is merit in staying informed. Going back to my teaching life, as a history major I really considered myself very well versed in early American history (up to 1945). I can name battles of the Civil War and major points of the Constitutional Convention which shaped our country into what we know today. It was my pleasant surprise that a friend of mine was more familiar with aspects of US History than I was. The way I see it; I can only benefit from learning from someone who knows more about a subject than me, especially a topic that I consider myself well versed on. Think to yourself: what is a something in life you consider yourself pretty knowledgeable about? Is there a way for you to acquire more information on that than you currently have? Being informed can only make you look better down the line. Education is the great equalizer after all. I would encourage you to take this stance on aspects of life that where you can stand to gain some information. I will go more detailed with this in a later post in this series.
For now: go forth and arm yourself with information my friends