The Pursuit of Learning

“The capacity to learn is a gift, the ability to learn is a skill, the willingness to learn is a choice.”  – Brian Herbert

I love this quote from Brian Herbert. In a world where we often want or feel entitled to have things happen instantly or to be acquired immediately, it is important to remind ourselves that sometimes (most times) we actually have to work to achieve something and that often takes time.

Take learning, knowledge or academic pursuit for example.  We all have brains and an ability to learn, but ultimately we need to be a willing participant in the learning process if we are actually going to attain the knowledge we are seeking.   It is our choice to pursue  wisdom.

Dr Seuss puts it like this:

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”

Solomon, in Proverbs 2 suggests we should pursue wisdom like gold:

1-5 Good friend, take to heart what I’m telling you;
collect my counsels and guard them with your life.
Tune your ears to the world of Wisdom;
set your heart on a life of Understanding.
That’s right—if you make Insight your priority,
and won’t take no for an answer,
Searching for it like a prospector panning for gold,
like an adventurer on a treasure hunt,
Believe me, before you know it Fear-of-God will be yours;
you’ll have come upon the Knowledge of God.

Our challenge as parents and teachers is to help our students to see wisdom, knowledge and understanding as valuable as treasure or gold.  Sometimes we actually end up bribing our children to do their homework or complete an assignment, but that is not what I am talking about when I say we need to place a value on learning. We  want them to see the value in it for themselves and to pursue wisdom and have a love of learning throughout their lives.

It helps when we as parents and teachers show our students that we are constantly learning new things ourselves.  This could be taking on a short course, learning a new skill, or even celebrating the success of finding an answer to a problem.

Our children get inspired by inspired people. They need to see how excited we are by learning.

Hanging in my office are testamurs from my university studies. A Bachelor of Science Degree, a Graduate Diploma in Education and a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership all hang on my wall. They are not there to boast, but instead to show students the value I place on education.

At Cedars, our staff are encouraged to continue following their passions and love of learning. At any given point of time there are a number of staff undergoing higher education, writing academic papers or publications, and contributing to teaching associations across the nation.

You would have read in previous newsletters of the success of Mr Peter Ramm with his poetry writing along with his academic papers and presentations in the History and English Teacher Associations, and Ms Tamminee Taylor who recently returned from an archaeological dig in Jerusalem with Macquarie University.

In the coming weeks Mr Ben Carden will be receiving the prestigious Executive Dean’s List Award for his studies in Geography where he achieved exemplary results in all coursework at Charles Sturt University.

All of these achievements come from dedication and hard work.   I am encouraged by the passion our staff have to pursue their studies and inspire in our students the love of learning.

We have recently celebrated graduations for our staff including:

  • Mr Jonathan Willett – Masters in Educational Leadership
  • Mrs Jen Castle – Masters in Special Education
  • Mr John McCoy – Bachelor of Education (Physics)
  • Mrs Jaimie Bailey – Bachelor of Education (Chemistry)
  • Mr Blake Bennett – Bachelor of Education (Primary)
  • Mrs Michelle Wood – Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood)

Even our College President, Paul Bartlett recently completed a Graduate Certificate in Leadership at Alphacrucis College and graduated over the term break.

Others currently undergoing formal study include:

  • Mrs Dianne Bond – Masters in Gifted Education
  • Mrs Meridith Southern – Masters of Education
  • Mrs Janelle Tarleton – Diploma of Counselling

Our staff love to teach. One thing that makes them great at teaching is their love of learning. I am grateful to lead a team of people who relentlessly pursue learning for themselves, “searching for it like a prospector panning for gold, or like an adventurer on a treasure hunt.”

Please join me in congratulating our staff who model the value of learning to our students.