Learning is mandatory in any and every stage of life. Watching babies hold their heads up, walk and learn coordination has most likely awed us all at some time. Learning into the teen years and then adulthood brings amazing surprises. And learning a craft or hobby, or taking up an area of study has its own wide-ranging offerings, both for enjoyment and individual growth. The ways we learn are various: we learn from tangible items such as books and study guides, the earth and its surroundings, and in this day, the Internet. We teach ourselves and learn from others. We learn from interaction and from trial and error. We learn at home, in institutional settings and on the job. Whatever the method, and wherever it is acquired, learning is a way of life: "I grow old ever learning many things."
With mandatory continuing education requirements and increasing degree mandates put upon surveyors to obtain or maintain their licenses, surveyors and someday-surveyors are recognizing more and more that learning is an important part of their growth in the profession, but many are viewing these opportunities as fun and beneficial. Fun and beneficial are the key traits to reeling in the younger students-the next generation of surveyors. Think of an experience when learning affected you in a positive way. Now think about how that lesson has extended to other parts of your life. Perhaps you've provided a lesson for somebody else. How great did that make you feel?
Extending that teaching skill to your community, county or state can prove to be even more positive. Don't you want to share your lessons with others? Think of the importance for those inside and outside the profession to learn about surveying, GIS, photogrammetry, etc. Many of these facets of the industry have a direct effect on those in your vicinity. Some people are extending the promotion of the profession by joining efforts countywide, statewide and even nationwide.
In an exclusive article posted to our website this month, Chris Daniel, PLS, states that: "The more we contribute, the more we will benefit." Teaching is one very big way of contributing to the strength and future of the profession. How are you helping? Perhaps you share your knowledge of the profession through the Boy Scouts, helping younger ones to earn their Surveying Merit Badges. Maybe you help others to learn by visiting local clubs or inviting local press to events related to surveying. Or maybe your way of extending lessons about the profession is to guide the unseasoned crew members or office technicians by mentoring and simply offering time and attention. There are many ways to extend the knowledge and practice of surveying to those within the profession and to the general public. The important thing is to have pride in what you do and to share it with others. By teaching others and learning more ourselves, we grow as individuals and we help the profession to grow as well.