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Teach Them How To Learn So They Can Own The Future

Posted by on in Teaching Strategies
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I love this quote by David Geurin, a Missouri high school principal. Check out David's blog for more progressive and game changing teaching and leading ideas.

Here's another quote I love and wholeheartedly agree with.

"Our job as teachers is not to "prepare" kids for something; our job is to help kids learn to prepare themselves for anything." - A.J. Juliani

What I take away from David and A.J.'s words is that the future is uncertain. The jobs of today will not exist tomorrow, but individuals who will possess the skills to learn anything, be able to reflect, creatively problem solve, take risks, stay persistent, and bring innovative solutions to the marketplace, will indeed be successful, regardless of what the future brings.

They will own the future.

Out job descriptions don't say it, but this is our job. HELP OUR STUDENTS OWN THE FUTURE.

My theme for this year is helping my students focus on building life and work skills and self reflection. I teach chemistry and engineering; important subjects, but no more important than all other subjects, and definitely less important than skills that help students be successful in whatever they endeavor in.

So what am I doing differently?

For the first time, my students blog and reflect on life and learning. I challenge them to ask and answer tough questions regarding their motivation, persistence, and thinking.

I teach my subjects, but I intentionally stress Learning How To Learn.

I explain the physical processes that occur in the brain as we learn. Understanding how neural connections are made, how our brain uses information, and how to make sure concepts are understood and stored in long term memory provides students with the why that is necessary for intrinsic motivation. "Why am I learning this stuff?" and "How am I ever going to use it?" are valid questions not to be dismissed with "Because the standards say so."

We discuss how to become more creative. We work collaboratively, and use design thinking.

We talk about spaced repetition, recall, crushing tests, and mixing up how, when, and where we learn and study. I don't just tell students to do it. I explain how to do it and why it leads to deep learning.

We talk about focus and procrastination and we do pomodoro.

We reflect on our habits, such as sleep and why it is crucial to learning effectively, learn how to rewire our brains, and set goals to do so.

We learn actively.

So how am I doing it all?

I created a series of Brain Based Learning Infographics. I use them with my students in a digital form and I print them and post them in my room so students have constant reminders of the most effective ways to learn, study, understand, and acquire lifelong learning, productivity, and social skills.

And now, I created high resolution versions of many of them. Each one is a highly visual, easy to absorb and understand, PDF poster anyone can use to teach students skills they will need to be successful in the future. You can get almost all of them for FREE on my Products Page HERE.

"Students may be 20% of our population, but they are 100% of our future." - Prince Ea

Teach Them How To Learn So They Can Own It.


You have the power to change the world. Use it often.

Thanks for reading! Consider signing up for my Free Newsletter if you'd like more Creative Teaching Tips, Hacks, & Ideas and grab 3 free Design Thinking Infographics while at it.

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Oskar is a Science, Engineering, and Learning How to Learn teacher and an author of the Crush School Book Series.

His professional interests are brain-based teaching and learning, flexible seating (#StarbucksMyRoom founder), social-emotional learning, social justice, and using technology to enhance learning.

He is also a fan of the Jedi order (and uses DA FORCE frequently), ninjas, and the superhero in all of us. He is on a Quest to Change the World because he can. We all can.

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Guest Monday, 17 June 2019