In the quest to learn how to build our new life as property investors, I tried to distance myself in both time and monetary dependency from my previous career as a teacher.
I struggled to introduce myself as an investor while attending networking events etc, as my entire career path had focused on teaching and I felt like a fraud to say any different. Until the day my Mentor jokingly said, “You’re not allowed to say the words; “I’m an Art Teacher” anymore. You are a property investor.”
So from that day I disassociated myself from that title. However, in doing so I took it to the extreme and also turned my back on all that I had gained from those years; what a waste of knowledge.
While I was reading the book; ‘The One Thing’ this week, there were so many ‘actionable’ points and it hit me that all I do is read and listen, without actually acting on the true concepts of the book, that’s not learning. Then it hit me. I am trained to help people learn and how to learn. *Eureka* moment, I know how to effectively learn, not just listen and forget it later. Why am I not using this to get my head in the zone and grow faster.
So I wanted to share some of the basics in learning that I will be implementing, as it seems such a shame to forget how to do these things we used to do daily as children.
Marking! Haha, I do not miss the hundreds of books that used to do circuits through my assessment stamp, however, it’s such an important part in learning. It is not just someone telling you in red pen, where you have spelt something wrong. It’s feedback.
Whether we take a moment to assess ourselves, evaluating what has gone well and giving yourself areas to improve on next time; or we peer assess, sharing our learning with our peers and evaluating each other. This feedback is necessary to move forward in our learning. It identifies our strengths and highlights areas to develop. It should never be perceived as criticism, it’s a constructive method of developing skills.
Learning to Learn and Learning Styles
It is not just about what you are learning, learning itself is a skill. There are components we can act on to make ourselves more effective in the learning process; skills such as resilience, responsibility, reasoning; these are all parts of becoming an effective learner.
We don’t all learn the same. Some of us are visual learners, we may need images and to see the information. Others learn by doing; Kinaesthetic and some through auditory environments where listening to information is more beneficial. You are probably already aware of the environment in which you learn best, e.g listening to an audio over reading the book, practical tasks like flat pack furniture, some want to see the instructions, others want to figure it out by doing it. Developing and expanding your learning styles allows you to thrive in different environments.
This was such a big part of my ethos as a teacher. We actively need to teach children that it is ok to make mistakes when you are trying to learn new things, you figure how to do them better next time. Sometimes, making those mistakes actually makes you stumble on something that’s good. It is about building their courage to put their hand up and ask or answer a question, doing a new task and trying, or just having more belief in themselves that they can do something. But this isn’t just relevant in the school classroom, whenever we learn a new skill or try to learn something new, we need to remember that mistakes aren’t failures, they help us grow.
Learning Objectives and Outcomes
There have been many variations on how these should be formatted and introduced, but the premise is always the same. By the end of this allotted amount of time, what should I have learned and how will I demonstrate it. The What and the How is the important part here. For instance, like me at the start of investing, I was slow on the numbers. I ‘got’ them when we all did them together, but struggled on my own. So I sat and my objective for that day was to understand calculating cash flow, return on investment and yield, (evidence in the photo above) I would demonstrate this by finding properties and ‘running the numbers’, then have them checked by my math whizz Matthew, ( which also ticks the peer assessment box).
Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself
Matthew will be very happy to see me acknowledge these words, as I can be my own harshest critic, but I am learning to cut myself some slack. My previous post on ‘keeping the faith’ tackles this issue http://lifeaboutthehouse.com/keeping-the-faith/
It used to make me so sad when students really couldn’t see the progress they were making and lacked faith in themselves. So as adults, we shouldn’t do this either. Property investment is not easy, running a business is not easy. We are all learning and trying, that’s all that I ever wanted from my students and that’s all I want from myself.