My Learner’s Manifesto

I appreciated the mantras and principles in our weekly manifesto in my English course. I have learned so much more than the concepts taught in each class during this past year of secondary education. Here is my own manifesto, my challenge to myself and others as we move forward trying to become better people, better employees, better family members, and better citizens of the world…

Be patient. Nothing good comes quickly. My favorite pastime is climbing mountains to see the views of other mountains. There is no quick way to the top, and it is often grueling work to get there. Education is the same. We are in for a long haul. It will be worth the view at the top.

Be interested. There is a life lesson in every class we take. Go into it with curiosity and wonder. It makes the whole experience different.

Be positive. Attitude is everything, isn’t it? Our brains are powerful. If we tell ourselves we can do something, we can! Also no one likes a whiner. I need to apologize to my running friends, my husband and children, anyone within a mile of my voice that first semester. My bad.

Be strategic. We all have lives outside of school. I thought I could do it all. The shopping, the dinner making, the organized house. It lasted about two weeks into this adventure. The dinners and grocery shopping are mostly done by my kids and husband now. The house is often messy but I have become better at ignoring it. I triage my life right now and school has priority.

Be integrative. I love to see how one class often bleeds into another. I can make connections and the learning settles deep into my soul. Universal truths are easy to spot if you are open. Make those connections.

Be resourceful. I have reached out to so many helpers. I have a Math tutor once a week who I rely on in this online environment to fill the space of a teacher. Online school requires you to teach yourself. We interpret the material we read. It’s both empowering and terrifying. I don’t think it works for every class so I have been through my mental Rolodex to reach out for extra help.

Be engaged. Dive in headfirst and be excited about this opportunity. You will get as much or as little as you want out of a course. I remember a ballet teacher telling me that I should put the same effort into a beginner’s class as that of an advanced class. That concept left an imprint on my mind. I knew that engagement was the key to have a good take-away from whatever I embarked in.

Be self-aware. Along with resourcefulness, listen to your needs. Sometimes I need a quick nap. I don’t deny myself, if at all possible. I set an alarm and take a power nap and wake up refreshed and ready to try again. Some days it’s harder to start the work than other days. Evaluate why your motivation is low and seek help to get started. Understanding your needs helps fill them.

Be persistent. This is my word of the year. Persistence is key to quality work. Try, try, try again. Sometimes you need to sleep on it but try again in the morning. Your brain might need time to process. I can’t say all my projects have come out exactly as I wanted, but they were turned in. I will keep trying to do quality work.

And finally, Be Confident!

Believe in yourself! You were meant for greatness, and have potential far beyond your imagination. Count your small wins on the hard days and go forward with love for yourself.


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