Friday, September 26, 2014

The Importance Of Education

I believe that education is the single most important thing that a person can acquire. Formal or informal, it is something that once you have it, no one, no matter what the circumstances, can take your education away from you. There are many types of education and the form itself is less important than what you get out of it. Whether it be formal education involving books and school room learning or experiential learning by getting out and doing, it is all important and valuable. It can open doors to employment and even more education; it teaches you about yourself, other people and the world around you.

Now I love physically being in a classroom and learning. I proudly possess multiple diplomas and while it might appear that I don't "use" these degrees on a daily basis earning them taught me the rewards of hard work, dedication and commitment. The process of earning these degrees showed me how to look critically at the world around me which in turn has only enhanced my out of the classroom learning. Whether I am traveling or simply running my daily errands I observe and question what I see around me. What I learned in the classroom has taught me to be a lifelong student when I am outside of the school room as well.

Education and learning is so important to me. Fortunately this love of learning is something thing that has been passed onto Sidney, who even at his young age, loves learning about new things and more importantly, going to school each day. In fact, on weekends and extended school breaks he tells us that he misses being at school and wants to go back. He also wants to verify that the other kids aren't at school without him. I know at this young age that going to school is as much about the learning of and doing new things as it is about the socialization aspect of his day. (But then again socialization is learning). Both inside the classroom and out, he observes and absorbs everything he sees and hears, asking follow up questions when he doesn't understand and never accepting anything at face value. (Sure this is annoying at times but I absolutely love the fact that he always wants to know more). During daily reading time he listens and reads along with the stories but then asks a series of why or how questions about what he has heard. Whether we are visiting a museum or driving to school, he asks questions about what he sees only to repeat what he has learned later in the day. I can only hope that Sidney's love of learning continues as he grows older.

So why am I writing about the importance of education today? I blame it a bit on the cool fall weather and the start of a new school year. But it is also something I've been thinking about a lot lately. At the moment I am back in the classroom taking both French lessons and intermediate watercolor classes and am enjoying being a student again without all of the pressures of trying to earn a good grade. I may not be studying tomes of literature and having intellectual discussions but my mind is reeling as I conjugate French verbs and try to figure out how to get my brush strokes just right. This renewed learning has me feeling alive again and that has reminded me about the importance of education. It is also reminding me to "look outside of the box" at the different types of life long learning that takes place on a daily basis. Every day can serve as a lesson of some sort. This is a message that I am teaching my young son and one that I need to remember and apply to myself as well.

Life is one big lesson so embrace it. I am.

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