Every so often, I browse some of my favorite blogs for inspiration. I found the reminder I needed this morning on DEN Guru Jen Wagner’s blog ‘Thoughts by Jen‘.
I have the privilege of traveling, presenting, and learning among very talented educators each week, but after I read Jen’s post “Opportunity: LEARN“ I have to ask myself am I really LEARNing?!?
Here’s a snippet from her post
So I invite you to LEARN as much as you can — at the next conference you attend by:
You know what you think. You pretty much agree with what you think. So stop and listen to what others think. Don’t be preparing your response as they speak. But truly listen….to the words said, to the words unspoken, to the body language, to the facial expression, to the emotion, thought, convictions, and ideas. Don’t feel you always need to add your thoughts — at least not immediately.
Listen to the conversations that are not planned. Sit down in the hallway and listen as people wander by. Wander the exhibit hall and stand with someone as a demonstrator tells them all about the product. Then invite the person into a conversation with you to discuss what you just heard. As you wait for a session to start, be aware of the conversations around you…..and go ahead, get up and move into those conversations.
A: Asking Questions
Don’t be afraid to ask what you think everyone else already knows….because you might find everyone else is wondering the same. And ask beyond the “why, what, when”, etc. Be brave to challenge the question….not criticize or condemn, but get beyond the obvious and often the fluff to find out more.
What you hear might not jive with what you know, trust, or believe — but don’t diminish an idea just because of that. Toy around with the ideas you disagree with to see what the deeper reason might be and seesaw with the ideas you feel so strongly on just to see what gave them such a strong foundation.
Don’t leave a conference without making a connection with at least 3 to 5 new people (hopefully, much more!) that will become your allies. Exchange twitter names, blog urls, skype names, etc etc etc. Make a commitment to STAY IN TOUCH, to be each others sounding boards, accountability partners, litmus tests of ideas, etc.
Share with us something you have LEARNed recently from completely one of the activities above!
p.s. Thanks Jen for continually being a source of inspiration for me!