As a former teacher, you can understand that I have a passion for learning. However, as a retired person I was not at all sure that I wanted to start from the beginning again. Formal education was my life until now as a student, and then as a teacher. I want something different now. And yet, I do want to learn and grow. Luckily, there are lots of options other than formal education and I’m taking advantage of some of them.
Learning From YouTube
You don’t have to enrol in community college or night classes to learn new skills, if getting a certificate of completion is not your goal. My goals are building my skills in my new areas of interest: fibre arts and writing. I’ve been using YouTube as my primary learning tool since lockdown, when all the teachers were suddenly expected to master new digital skills. I learned how to crochet a simple bee for my students from a YouTube video. It was my first time crocheting. The joy of learning from YouTube is that you can do it at your own pace: rewind and freeze the video when you need to review some information. You can open the video on one screen while you follow along with the instructions on another screen. You can also access the videos at any time of day or night. You choose. I love that!
Lately, I realized that some more in-depth information was needed for my work in fibre arts and I invested in a Floxie event.** It’s the first time that I’ve paid to attend a webinar. During the last couple of years of teaching, I attended many webinars paid for by my employer or my union. But I’d never paid for my own education. I know it’s not like investing in a degree or diploma but it’s a beginning. I’m recognizing that my new interests deserve to be fed and that spending some money to get quality information is worthwhile.
After three years of participating in on-line learning, I hadn’t even considered the in-person options until recently. Going somewhere to learn from others who are experts in their field? It turns out that it’s possible now that the pandemic is easing. By joining national groups on Facebook that are dedicated to your interests you will see advertising for up-coming conferences and festivals. These events usually offer workshops and demonstrations. They are also good opportunities for you to network with others who share your passions. Shops where you buy your supplies for your area of interest often offer classes or demonstrations. It’s worth looking into it.
I’ve decided that I’m going to find more in-depth knowledge in my areas of interest. I’m committed to investing in quality classes/workshops as an important part of my growth from now on. I hope to meet others who are doing the same.
Where have you found classes on your areas of interest?
*A webinar is a seminar (usually 1 to 2 hours) that is delivered live over a platform such as Zoom. You can ask questions in the chat during the presentation. They are usually recorded so that you can view them later if you can’t attend live.
Places to find webinars include:
https://www.eventbrite.ca/d/online/webinar/ (a variety of topics)
https://floxsie.com/ (specific to fibre arts)