Learning Doesn't End When College Does

Alice Bolandhemat You might dread math class because you have no idea how the numbers and equations will come into play later on in life. Or perhaps you don’t quite get why history is a required class because you don’t see the use in familiarizing yourself with events that transpired hundreds of years ago. Maybe you’re looking forward to graduating college because you want to be through with homework, tests, and all of the other responsibilities that come with learning. If you’ve ever had any one of these thoughts, you might be surprised to hear that some Latin teachers are jumping at the chance to take high-school-like-classes. For example, Upper School mathematics teacher Mr. McArthur and English teacher Ms. Barker sit in on Honors Politics classes to learn more about the subject. Last semester, they participated in Honors American Politics, and this semester they occasionally sit in on Honors Global Politics. “I had an interest in politics and knew almost nothing about it,” said McArthur. “I saw my free periods as an opportunity to better grasp what is happening in America today.” McArthur is also currently a graduate student at Northwestern University, and has developed the perspective of both a student and teacher. McArthur said that “being a student in a classroom takes away the authoritative aspect and allows for curiosity. Many students expect teachers to answer questions rather than ask them, but even as a teacher, there are plenty of unanswered questions.” According to McArthur, education isn’t just about “one correct answer like in some classes. I think politics, especially, is a class where there are multiple answers and opinions to learn from,” regardless of your age. Senior Maat Bates takes Honors Politics and says that she loves when Ms. Barker or Mr. McArthur sit in on her classes. “It allows me to see teachers in a different light,” said Bates. “Knowing that teachers are still interested in educating themselves motivates me to learn new material, even though my time learning at Latin will be coming to an end soon.” At Latin, we are given many opportunities to take classes that pertain to our interests. Sure, homework and tests aren’t exactly everyone’s favorite activity, and someday, you will never to complete them again, but learning is a lifelong endeavor. If a student or even a teacher is so caught up in the stress they get from a class, they might miss out on all of the knowledge they could be gaining from their peers. Regardless of if you’ve gone through 10 years of education or maybe even 20, you are never really finished learning. To sum up his ongoing experience with learning Mr. McArthur says, “Lifelong learning is something I believe very strongly in, and Latin students are some of the most curious people I have ever come across. I learn a variety of facts from them on the daily, and sitting in on Politics, a class that can be applied to day to day life, is a wonderful opportunity to do even more of this.”]]>