What I learnt this year: Learning to live with not always learning #WILTW

This is the 52nd #WILTW

Nearly every evening when I tuck my eldest daughter into bed the following happens:

Me: So what did you learn at school today?

Isla: [thinks, screws up face, looks blank]

Me: Did you do reading? maths?

Isla: [looks bored]

Me: Did you do anything in school?

Isla: [laughs]

Isla: Daddy?

Me: Yes

Isla: Can I put my Elsa dress on?

 

Isla definitely is learning things. Even with the grommets, being the youngest in the class and the simple fact that her parents are probably over anxious it’s clear that Isla does digest what she learns at school and applies it to every day life. Whether she, now in her second year at school and not yet 6, has any idea that she is learning is not clear though.

A year ago I set on on a task to record my ‘learning’ from the previous week. It was a simple experiment that I tried for a few weeks and realised it was possible to achieve from a practical “time-based” point of view. I then set myself a non-publicised target of reaching a year’s worth of postings. It’s been an interesting jouney, one in which others have shared but not yet joined in. Apart from a splattering of initial first followers (thanks to @polythenia who does still use it) and a company who seem keen on copyrighting the phrase, promises of guest contributions have never materialised.

To be fair though the blog is about my learning and reflection and unlike a Sunday magazine correspondent I am not writing to entertain. I am (and should be) writing for myself. This does make it a little hit or miss in terms of content. A side effect of this blog has been the concealed, and sometimes blunt, honesty from those who think I have written utter rubbish. I concede early posts and some of my more flamboyant analogies don’t really represent true learning.

Thinking Man

But what is true learning? This is has been a real challenge for me as I reflect on a year’s reflections. Without a shadow of doubt the fact that I find time (usually on a Friday) to sit and consider the previous week does me a world of good. Irrespective of what I do or don’t write the mindfulness of the moment enables me to take stock of what I am doing in a way that I would not have done if I wasn’t writing this blog. People forever promise themselves time without actually taking it. The real tipping point was when a couple of people said they looked forward to #WILTW. While the blog isn’t written for others the expectation of an output has solidified the need to find the time to reflect and write it.

online-learning

Sometimes writing #WILTW is really difficult though. I can’t think of anything I’ve learnt. But I can almost always think of things I should have done. I have come close on many occassions to writing: Why didn’t I do that this week?

I have been a consultant for a year now. It is inconceivable that I haven’t learnt things. But perhaps like my daughter I don’t see learning at the time. It is only by looking back you can see where you have come from. I do now have a tangible record of events to make sure that I’m not repeating the same mistakes. #WILTW will continue – a way of finding space to think in an increasingly crowded world. When and where true learning occurs though will be something I continue to look out for.

Now – where is that Elsa dress?

What did you learn this week #WILTW

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