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Culture of Learning

How would you respond to the statement, “Education does not end when you leave the classroom”? This was the prompt for the championship round at a recent CEESA Speech and Debate competition in which an AAS student won first place. Students had to come up with an impromptu speech to share their thoughts on this statement. I was very interested in the responses and wondered if anyone truly thinks learning has boundaries or ever ends. I mean, except for death, do we ever stop learning? Would we ever want to stop learning? 

A study conducted in cooperation with Linkedin asked professionals what inspired them the most in their work environment.  One of the most important aspects that professionals listed as their motivation was opportunities for growth and learning. This was only slightly behind the top answer listing the nature of the work itself. Here at AAS, we have embarked on an initiative of promoting a culture of learning across the school. Now you may think that this is a very obvious endeavor for a school, and you are right. The thing that makes this initiative unique is that it expands beyond the learning that happens with students everyday. A culture of learning fosters an environment where we value learning for ourselves as adults and professionals. More importantly, we value and seek opportunities to learn from each other.

Part of this initiative is opening our classroom doors to one another. Your child may come  home and share that they had a group of teachers visit their classroom. This is part of Learning Walks and Learning Labs that happen across the school allowing teachers to observe each other as they are teaching. Teachers visit classrooms to observe the teaching and learning. They then sit with the host teacher and talk through what they noticed, questions they may have about what they observed, and what effective strategies they would like to implement in their own classroom. One teacher participant described this as “the best professional development they have been a part of.” At AAS you will also find teachers facilitating workshops for other teachers,  instructional coaches serving as thinking partners for planning and growth or co-teaching in a classroom, teachers collaborating and sharing ideas, and even our parent community members coming in to share their expertise. 

When we see ourselves as continuous learners, we seek opportunities to continue to grow professionally and to take on new challenges. We believe in a culture of learning because we see the benefits and true value of continuous learning. Most importantly, we hope to set a good example for our students to also value learning and we hope that they will never want to stop learning when they leave the classroom. 

You can read the full study mentioned above here.

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