What Makes a Learning Champion - by Dimana Radeva
As Freddie Mercury once sang, „We are the champions my friends and we'll keep on fightin' till the end…”Actually that is what a champion does – never gives up and does their best to achieve the top. Whether one is preparing for exams or striving to learn how to play the piano, the struggle is just as great as any other battle. It is difficult and deserves admiration.
A learner champion should be many things, but most importantly they need to be creative and systematic.
We live in a world which approves of the champions in every sense of the word, and they are people who achieve high results at school, and individuals, tending to be leaders. So, developing life qualities and intelligences could be useful. When I first crossed Britanica’s doorstep, I was incredibly frightened because I thought it would be impossible for me to combine all the extracurricular activities I was involved into. However, it turned out to be easier than anticipated, as attending English classes taught me not only English, but how to be more organised, too, for the lessons require to work step by step and inevitably, I became more systematic. Probably it is the best way to learn new things, especially if one is doing this for the first time, because in the process of studying there is enough time to develop other qualities such as interpersonal and analytical skills. To be honest, I had never expected that interacting with others would be so important and my teamwork ability had been left to die in the little sea of misanthropy in my heart, but soon I realised that working in groups was not bad at all. Moreover, there is only one way to gain knowledge and it is to be an active member of the modern society, but I do not mean be annoyingly curious and egoistically ambitious, because one could learn not only from their own achievements and mistakes, but from others’ success and failure, too.
One of the greatest experiences in Britanica was taking part in preparing a poster for Operation “Smile”. It was an opportunity to show my artistic nature and of course, to improve it as working in a group means to help the other find their mistakes and correct them therefore, my interpersonal skills also progressed. However, it was not creativity or interaction that was important, but the lesson that it taught us: there is great misery in the world, but if we stay together as a union and be kind, the misfortune could turn into a smile, and the smile that appears after tears is the brightest one. I realised that knowledge without kind heart is not worth it and there is one thing that we cannot learn at school: how to be a human being. Empathy is important for learning champions because on the way leading to the “cup” there are many obstacles that must be overcome. They are too big to be jumped over or be rounded. One could get through them only if they pour it from heart.
It is definitely easier to learn new things if we eliminate the weaknesses of ours which are like a big wall for the knowledge, as it is with the case of people who are religious and tend to reject scientifically proven facts. However, there are way more bumps we face every day as learners and the only way to become champions is to get rid of them. For example, I am too shy which, is quite obstructive to me not only because it makes speaking in front of perfect strangers incredibly difficult, but also find it impossible to ask for some further information regarding a certain subject. Apparently, lack of confidence appears to be a hindrance for the learner and yet it could be defeated, as it happened to me. To be honest, I still get nervous whenever I have to speak, however, now it is not so difficult and the presentation which I prepared for the parent-teacher meeting helped me with that problem.
Britanica offers so much to the students not only in terms of education, but in terms of effective communication too. For this reason I think that starting a project called “The challenge” would be a good decision because what I have as an idea for the project is that each group in class must present a book, movie or whatever they want, in such a way that the rest of the students would like to read or just like the product. The difficult part is in advertising something that the group may not like. A project like that efficiently teaches us to find something little we could possibly hold on to, because the world is not simply black and white and the shades of grey are much more than fifty. Our society should learn not to critisise only, but to praise as well.
Every learning champion is made of a sum of qualities and personality, yet they are all united by the desire to extend their cognition through learning. I quoted a song in the beginning, because it matches to the topic and there is so much to think about…and we know that thinking is the very first step of being a learning champion.