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A Look at Lifelong Learning at Regents

18 September 2015

With support and opportunity, commitment and perseverance, you can learn anything.

  • You can learn anything at Regents Pattaya
  • You can learn anything at Regents Pattaya
  • You can learn anything at Regents Pattaya

By Laura Butler, English Teacher

Have you ever heard of the saying “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?” Well, that’s something that your teachers are setting out to prove wrong. At our school we believe that with support and opportunity, commitment and perseverance you can learn anything.

What’s more, we think that learning something new actually makes our brains grow. Science agrees with us. Every time your brain is challenged in a new way, tiny neurons spark off new connections with the activity you engage in. These connections then build on each other, constantly multiplying and getting stronger. Although learning new things can sometimes be really difficult at first, the connections your brain makes when practising new activities get stronger and stronger the more you do it – this is why you get better at things with time and practice. 

This is something that Miss Sargeant recently discovered when learning how to play the guitar. Until last year, Miss Sargeant felt she ‘wasn’t born’ to be musical. She had tried to learn how to play an instrument three times before, but had given up each time when the activity became too difficult. But after joining our school and learning more about growth mindset, Miss Sargeant knew the only barrier to her learning was that she let herself give up too easily. This time she decided to take it step-by-step, trying her best and refusing to give up. She started with the ukulele because it was easier and she slowly learnt to play through YouTube tutorials. Two months ago Miss Sargeant bought a guitar and she is now learning to play lots of songs on it. Realising that she can learn to get better at anything has inspired her to start playing the piano again and she is now also learning music theory. Miss Sargeant has achieved her childhood dream and is having great fun doing things she thought she would never be able to do! 

Other teachers are also getting in on the act. When you walk around our school you will see lots of posters on classroom doors with teachers telling you what it is that they are currently learning to do. For example, Mr McKenna is learning to hold his breath when he goes spearfishing. He has also just bought a new spear gun which he is learning to use when he goes free diving. Mrs Loader is learning to play the piano. She has decided to challenge herself to learn to play the Kings’ anthem by the end of the year, promising to show us all in assembly when she reaches her goal!

I’m currently learning to use sign language. One of my friends’ sisters is deaf and I realised that the reasons why I hadn’t learnt how to communicate properly with her were really just excuses: sign language is difficult and learning it takes a lot of time. I decided it wasn’t fair on my friend to be this lazy and reminded myself that it was something that I could do if I put my mind to it. So I have signed up for an online course and I am slowly learning the basics. It is difficult, but I can’t wait to surprise her when I next visit England and I know this new life skill will be worth the effort. 

What’s your challenge?

First of all, find out what your teachers are learning to do. To learn something you need to be motivated and for this you often need support from others. Speak to your teachers and encourage them to tell you about how they are getting on with their learning goal. Then, decide what it is that you want to learn. Set yourself a goal and share it with your teachers, friends and family. Remember, there are no quick fixes to success. But with hard work, dedication and lots of practice you can learn anything that you put your mind to.