Well, as you all know, learning is not the same for anyone. This task has begged me, in a sense, to reflect on how I learn. Well, in this reflection, it dawned on me that I am an independant type learner, if that makes sense. To illustrate I have a story from what happened this weekend to me (I’ll change the names to protect identities):
So I was in Saskatoon for an annual baton clinic this weekend. We had two guest coaches come in: David* from the US and Sheena* from Japan. During this clinic, coaches are able to sit in a watch what we learn from the clinicians, which is always very interesting and different from what we usually learn. So, I was in David’s class Sunday morning and he had taught us a new combination and the ending trick was pretty hard and no one was getting it. So, my coach, Jennifer*, in her old age and “wisdom” decided to tell me I was doing it all wrong and I was horrible at the whole combination to “motivate” me to do it correctly. Grrrrr. So she came over and was up in my face trying to “teach it to me properly” when David had just come over to tell me I was doing it well and was on the right track. I know it wasn’t good yet, but I just got very frustrated because I wanted to get it on my own. I love to figure things out and when she came over to help, it just got me more angry and less like I wanted to do it. I noticed that before she came over, I kind of liked the trick, but as soon as she “helped” me I started hating the trick. I mean, call it selfish, but I like doing things on my own, for myself, at my pace, not yours. It bugs me when people try to force-teach me.
Being an independant learner has served me pretty well so far. Mostly I can take care of myself for school and its good because I can work at my own pace (usually faster than the class’ pace). But at baton, I have a rather “controlling” coach, so it tends to clash and cause some grief for me.
Outside of being an independant learner, which I do know isn’t an actual defined style of learning, I would have to say I am a big salad of some of the other types of learning – by this I mean its not a perfect blend and it depends of the task or subject (the fork full of salad) as to which I use. For math, I am a visual learner – if I can see where everything goes, then I can do it and then visualize it really well. I also like to know more than just “thats just how it is.” I like knowing where my formulas came from.
For language, I am one of the people who has to have strict rules and everything needs to stick to where it goes. I am big on following all of the rules to the T, so when there are deviants, there better be a loopole specifically stated to include the deviant word, such as neighbour, weigh, etc. I also like to hear things. Okay, so this is a big secret: when I am at home alone doing homework such as reading a play or short story or something along those lines, I have to read aloud to myself or none of it registers. I love to act it out and do voices and I just go all out, but it’s the only way I can get it into my head.
For anything physical, I really struggle, unless I know the science behind it. If I can figure out the physics of a baton trick, for example, then it is a piece of cake, but otherwise, I’m lost. I always need a purpose for moving a specific way.
So, as you probably have guessed, I like to learn in general, but specifically about physics, math, and (big surprise) baton. I also like to learn about unusual things, such as background info about common things (like did you know that Chicago’s World’s Columbian Expo in 1893 was actually supposed to be held in 1892 to commemorate Columbus’ discovery of America 400 years previously, but do to a short time line, it was delayed to start May 1 the following year. Yes, I know I am just that random). I love to learn about history and origins, and then be able to make connections to things I already knew.
As far as my learning network is concerned, it is pretty tiny. I know my teachers, my coaches, my friends, the internet, the library, and thats about it. I have a few teachers on my RSS feed, but other than that, its pretty small. I guess I could say, as far as know people in baton as a network, its pretty big, as in most of the top coaches in the world, but still, they live far away and I don’t think they have blogs or anything like that.
So just to bring a little closer to this ordeal, does anyone have any suggestions to help me cope with my controlling coach? I’ve tried everything it seems, but she refuses to let me do it on my own… your help would be much loved!