Don’t let age stop you learning something new | Portsmouth High School

Don’t let age stop you learning something new

When I was a deputy head organising cover for absent staff was routine – when I was first appointed I used pen and paper and carried around a folder with absence details and by the time I moved onto headship it was all computerised using software.

For various reasons last Friday I had to dust off the cobwebs in my memory and familiarise myself once more with “Nova T 6” the programme we use. I have to admit that I was given some assistance remotely from Mr PT – thank goodness for the mobile phone which is something else that did not widely exist when I first started organising cover lessons in the late ‘90s. Ms Egan hovered over me and together we worked out what to do. I quite enjoyed proving that I could still manoeuvre my way round a system that is not intuitive.

It can be so easy to allow ourselves as we age not to embrace either new ways of doing things or new technology. We do not allow the children we teach to choose what they wish to learn and neither should their educators. It becomes too easy to allow children to be the only family members able to, for example operate the TV remote, and we are not exhibiting positive role models for our young. Children are like sponges in that they soak up information and new knowledge. As we age we become less competent at remembering detail and I know if I allowed myself I can be lazy and not bother to grasp new ways of doing things.

I watched our reception class learning about shapes. Not only were they keen to recognise different outlines they were eager to learn new words such as oblong, group and sets. I also noticed that at every opportunity Mrs Holden slipped in some literacy too and soon they could spell out “corner” and “oblong” on their fingers as well as recognise their differences. It was such a joy to see small children so curious and furthermore so supportive of each other. There is nothing stopping them learning something new.