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It’s time to commit.

It might not seem like curiosity is something that fits with commitment, but it does… especially for educators.

During the school year, we have so many things vying for our attention and focus that opportunities for exploring our own questions are limited. Curiosity seems like a luxury during the I’m-so-busy-I-only-inhaled-2-bites-of-my-lunch days.

We know. Schedules can be insane.

Enter summertime!  Hopefully you have a different pace for a few weeks in your near future.  This might just be your summer for embracing curiosity.

At the same time, we have to be honest.  Really practicing curious living is more serious than daydreaming and web surfing and bopping between hobbies.

Curiosity is work.

BUT…

So why would educators who are looking forward to the slower pace of summer even consider committing to something after a whole year of commitments? We know that the decision to live more curiously takes:

  • intentionality to choose a question that really matters to you,
  • resolve to focus on that question,
  • time to spend learning,
  • accountability to yourself to keep the question alive for a couple of weeks at least, and
  • motivation because these are not normal ways of thinking and learning for busy educators.

A commitment to curiosity takes all of these things…but it also gives. Deep learning guided by a meaningful question gives back so much to the learner. We gift ourselves a new state of mind when we commit to curiosity. The gift of deep curiosity brings the endorphins of a runners high to our brain.  We gift ourselves something that all learners deserve: freedom of choice driven by our own meandering down a path fueled by our own needs.

After a year of giving to every other learner in your world, now it’s time to give to you. It’s time to ask yourself, “What am I really wondering about right now?”

You might land on something related to education or you might not. And that’s okay. Ask the question you WANT to ask.  Answer the question in the way your brain WANTS to answer the question. Do this for you.  You are worth it!

So, what are you wondering about right now? Write it down.  Tell someone who will hold you accountable.  Tweet it out at #LeadCuriosity (if that’s your thing).  This can be low tech or high tech – whatever helps you stay committed!

And then cling to the question.  Hold on tightly to the threads of new learning.  Refine your question.  Talk to yourself while driving.  (Or is that just me?)  Talk with others.  Share what you’re learning.  Journal. Blog. Periscope.

If you give yourself the gift of time as a learner, just watch what it will do for your brain.  Then, just watch what it will do for your understanding of learning fueled by engagement and motivation – the kind of learning you wish for all students.  This is what curiosity has done for Shelley and I … and we are forever changed!

Finally, as you live your curiosity this summer, don’t forget to celebrate. Our brains deserve the metacognitive joy that happens when we watch our own learning, name what works for us, and notice the benefits from our efforts. It’s a gift you deserve as a committed educator.

Treat yourself.

Your students will benefit from your investment.

~ Erin and Shelley

 

P.S.  And check out #CarryCuriosity on Twitter to follow some pretty innovative educators who are working to “lead curiosity” by example this summer!

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