Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Improvement

I just led my second lesson of Junior Achievement this afternoon. I am teaching 2nd graders about the concepts of community. I think today my lesson went very well. It is such a pleasant experience to see bright and shiny children eager to learn new information.
My first class last week I was a little reluctant because I did not know how it would go. I do not have an education degree, but I do know the value of education and learning something new. The first class I led really did go poorly, the children didn't listen, I was not as prepared as I should have been and I had not really gotten the childrens' attention how I should have. A seven year old really can tell you are fumbling through things.
Today though, I knew things would go better. I prepared just as much as I did last week, but I came in with a little more confidence, a little more knowledge of the class, and a craving to share with them something they had not learned yet. I did feel better, I was more confident. I even put down my notes, I moved around, and got the class involved in a way that was a true learning environment.
At the end of the class I felt really good about myself. I look forward to next week's lesson and I am pretty sure the students do too.
Do you know what happened?
Do you know why this week went better?

I improved!
It is no surprise if you do something time and after time you will get better. Learn from someone that is excellent at what you are doing and you just might get excellent too. Henry Ford said, " Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at 20 or 80."
When is the last time you improved on something? When is the last time you learned something new?
Oliver DeMille talks about in The Thomas Jefferson Education about when you are learning and you are so hungry you just can't get enough of learning. It is almost a craving or an addiction. But this is the good kind of addiction. The addiction to learn something new to improve your life. Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady's Launching a Leadership Revolution they say the first step in becoming a leader is to learn.
Are we as adults getting out of our comfort zones enough these days, or do we park in the same spot every day, do we sit at the same seat at the table at dinner, do we order the same thing on the menu?
Let's together learn and improve. It is easy to do, but it is also easy not to do.
I can say today; I improved. And guess what? Next week is going to be even better.