We always have something to complain about and honestly, I am no different. Being a teacher who has been abroad for 9 years, I have definitely seen the positives and negatives to each and every curriculum in the school systems. Regardless, my message and goal stays constant for my students has continued to remain the same: to create lifelong learners.
While discussing this topic recently, I was explaining that my main goal was that if my students came out of the year curious and engaged, that I had done my job. I felt fulfilled and so excited to send them off into the world. Forget the little-gritty stuff (which we obviously need to learn as well), but the big idea for me was to see my students leaving the year feeling excited to learn more.
What happens to us as adults? Why do we lose this integral skill as we get older?
When we were young, we were interested in the world around us and we felt that there were endless opportunities. Overtime, we lost focus on what was really important to us, life got in the way and we had responsibilities we needed to put first.
The truth is, curiosity is what drives many other paths such as creativity, critical thinking and emotional intelligence (which are some of the top 10 skills that are trending by World Economic Forum.)
How do we bring that spark back? How do we become and continue to be lifelong learners?
Let’s look at what curiosity actually means: a strong desire to know or learn something, an unusual or interesting object or fact.
If this is the case, how do we begin to unfold our own curiosity? Here are three things that can get you started:
1) Presence - Take a moment during your next walk or pause and check in with how you are feeling during any particular time in the day. Look around you and appreciate the things around you. Find what could fascinate you in that moment.
2) Try something new - What is something you have always wanted to try but haven’t had the time? Maybe fear as got in the way? Jump out of your comfort zone and begin to learn something new.
3) Ask questions to REAL people - I love to google things but what I’ve realised is that when I ask a question, to a real human being, I can have the most engaging conversations that lead to much more than that one question I was looking for. Curiosity is contagious and soon you will have those around you striving for the same desire to learn.
These 3 steps allow us to build the confidence to propel us forward in asking more questions, being active observers in the world and taking more risks. There are so many reasons not to do these things, but the truth is, aren’t you just a little bit curious as to what your life could look like if you started to be a lifelong learner?