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Learn How To Learn

Updated on August 25, 2014

My Father Taught For 60 Years And Still Teaches

My Father was a teacher before I was born. He graduated with his BA and was working on his Masters Degree when I came along. He specialized in High School education, but was able to teach below this level right from the start. He like teens so that is where he stayed his entire career.

My Father is now turning 80 and guess what. He retired 23 years ago and it took him only 3 months to realize he needed to go back. He got his job back, but instead of a full time teacher he took the position of Sub. This means he works everyday or when he wants to. For him it's everyday and now he enjoys his retirement pay with the Sub pay. I don't think he will ever stop.

Growing up as the Daughter of a Teacher meant I was subjected to a lot of lectures. Sometimes very long ones about life and how to get though it. This usually happened when I did something wrong. While most kids were grounded. I never was. My Father would sit down and talk. Sometimes I thought it would have been easier to just be sent to my room.

One of his famous talks was about the learning curve and I would get that one once a year right at the start of school or when I was having a problem with a subject. At the time it didn't mean as much to me as it does now. Of course now that I am a parent also I have given this talk to my kids too.


The Learning Process

When you start school for a new topic everyone feels anxious. Can you make it though a class? Will the work be too hard? Most kid on the first day don't have questions. You may think this would be the time they would, but if you don't know about a subject you don't have questions about it. The first few classes are always teaching the vocabulary and making students understand the background of a subject.

"No good teacher expects you to know things on the first day" was what my Father would tell me to calm my first day of school jitters and I did the same for my kids.

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The Stages Of Learning

Stage One : You have no questions on the subject. This is because you don't know what to ask. Your knowledge base is very small.

Stage Two : You begin to understand the language. Every new subject has it's own set of vocabulary words. At this stage you begin to speak that language

Stage Three : You are applying your new found language and formulating concepts. Question on how things work begin to emerge. You feel less anxious and are starting to put the concepts together into steps.

Stage Four : You are formulating ideas on the subject. Those vocabulary words are forming sentences in your mind. You can anticipate the next step.

Stage Five : You are now working within the context matter. You are fitting the puzzle together and actively working independently with guidance.

Stage Six : You can actively answer questions, but are still fine tuning your skills. You have moved beyond the formal classroom and can actively work within the parameters of your skills. At this point a lot of people act as if they know more than they do. You know one path to the answer and maybe two, but a mentor is always a good idea at this point.

Stage Seven : The student becomes the Teacher. At this point you know many paths that get the same result. You know this by trial and error and can show others these different pathways. This usually happens years into working in your field. You are now the expert.

School Anxiety

Many people fear the first day of school although it's a day you don't have to prepare for and should be the easiest day of the year. If your child has this fear you can help them get over it by preparing early. If it's their first time on the bus you may want to follow the bus. If your child knows your there and can see your car they may feel more relaxed.

Talk about the other kids and explain how they are just as frightened. Sometimes children think they are the only ones who are scared. You may want to buddy them up and let the kids walk together. There is always safety in numbers.

If it's a new school go there for a tour before. Often the fear is related to not knowing the surroundings. Let your child play in the yard or maybe take a visit before the end of the previous year when children are there so they feel more relaxed seeing other children relaxed and having run.

The Mind Is Waiting For The Universe To Fill It


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Does your child cry when leaving for school. Help them though the separation anxiety by reading to them and letting them know it is OK to separate for a little while.



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    • DrBillSmithWriter profile image

      William Leverne Smith 3 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Thank you for sharing this interesting perspective.

    • Merrci profile image

      Merry Citarella 3 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

      Interesting, and applicable to whatever you are learning, isn't it? It's a good memory to have from your childhood too. I can sense how it would feel to know another lecture was coming on! Sweet.