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Attributes of a Good Learner

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I believe the most important attribute of a good learner is the desire for self-learning. The successful self-directed learner does not wait for someone else to say, “you must learn this.”. They have a goal in mind and will work hard to achieve that goal no matter how difficult. When one has the desire to learn something new, they understand that it takes time, repetition and practice, they never give up until they reach their goal. In addition, when a person has the desire for self-learning;

they will embrace responsibility for doing the work of learning and doing it well. they view problems as challenges not obstacles and are not easily thwarted when the going gets tough. they see learning as enjoyable yet they know it requires self-discipline. they ask lots of questions and wonder about things.

they are motivated from within and see learning as a positive path forward. they believe that they are capable of performing in a certain manner to attain a goal. they know how to manage time effectively to allow for learning and set an appropriate pace for that learning. they develop a plan for completing work.

and they simply love to learn.

Some other terms to describe a good student may be; diligent, organized, attentive, timely, cooperative and collaborative . I will focus on being cooperative and collaborative because it is important in today’s society. Students need to learn to work with all types of people. During small-group interactions, they find many opportunities to reflect upon and reply to the diverse responses fellow learners bring to the questions raised. Small groups also allow students to add their perspectives to an issue based on their cultural differences. This exchange inevitably helps students to better understand other cultures and points of view. It is important to acknowledge individual differences. When questions are raised, different students will have a variety of responses. Each of these can help the group create a product that reflects a wide range of perspectives and is thus more complete and comprehensive.

Students also learn to relate to their peers and other learners as they work together in group enterprises. This can be especially helpful for students who have difficulty with social skills. They can benefit from structured interactions with others. In addition it is important to actively involve students in learning. When each member has opportunities to contribute in small groups, students are apt to take more ownership of their material and to think critically about related issues when they work as a team. When working collaboratively, there will be more opportunities for personal feedback because there are more exchanges among students in small groups, thus the students receive more personal feedback about their ideas and responses. This feedback is often not possible in large-group instruction, in which one or two students exchange ideas and the rest of the class listens.

I would describe myself primarily as an introverted, visual learner. For me, lectures, conversations and oral directions without any visual backup can be very confusing. If a teacher just lectured, I would often find myself daydreaming and as a result I would miss most of the lesson. Consequently, as a teacher I make sure keep my lessons visually stimulating by utilizing different forms of visual aids such as the interactive whiteboard, computers, a Kindle, anchor charts and an Ipad in addition to including many hands on activities, music and art. While teaching I have a simple mantra; I DO, WE DO, YOU DO. I present a mini-lesson, we try it together, you do it independently. I believe a teacher’s job is not only to present information that learners need, but also to help them understand what they are good at. Although it is very difficult to address everyone’s needs, it is important to meet as many needs as possible.

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