As educational philosophy continues to shift based on current research, new teacher programs must reflect the reform in the classroom environment. It seems sad and weird that folks coming out of traditional programs are still learning what I learned so long ago with little modification. This needs to change
Hands-on activities that require students to activate a lot of skills at once take practice. Breaking these complicated but rigorous learning experiences into pieces can be very helpful and satisfying to both the teacher and the students.
The role of teacher needs to be continually adjusted to suit the needs of our learners. Education has catered to the adults for too long and therefore has missed the mark. If we are truly invested in helping our learners become 21st century ready, we need to empower them more and then support them in their success and failures. In this way, they will learn to cope with both of those experiences in meaningful ways.
Who do your students most align with, the positivity that joy espouses or the need to think deeply about the weight of the world that sadness reminds us exists? Perhaps it's disgust or fear or anger... whichever it is, be mindful that they need each other to be a whole.
In short, there are lots of ways that all students can learn how to control computers that have immediate real-world impact and can involve student interest and passion. There are also many innovative teachers supporting these tools who others need to try to follow. Leadership is key, but it should come from people with educational expertise and not politicians and corporate big wigs.
The more risks we take in the classroom that allow students to be in control, the better. At every age and at every level, children are capable of making good choices, but we do have to give the opportunities to practice while we watch actively to ensure they are all getting what they need.
When your old assessments aren't working, why not include students in the redesign process? When we empower students to help us establish the work they will be doing, the level of buy-in increases and better engagement is probable. Check out my seniors in action.
Aside from the relationships we develop, teaching never gets boring. Every day is an adventure filled with the unexpected. Learning experiences around every corner and not just for the kids, for us too. After all, teaching challenges the core of who we are people, pushing us to try to be better.
Patience is often an enemy. Certainly understanding its necessity, I work hard to give the system the time it needs to acknowledge the essential shifts that MUST occur for all students to be successful in the 21st century. But just because I'm ready (and maybe you are too), doesn't mean everyone else is. The American educational system has been this way for a long time and many are very comfortable with it as such, but that doesn't mean we can't challenge the structures in place and continue to push back as needed to make the necessary adjustments, especially if we ...
Too often in education, those in charge forget what the learning is all about it. It isn't about compliance or mere task completion but a development of a skill set and depth of understanding that continues to be built upon and adjusted for mastery. We must, it is our obligation, to provide students with the richest learning experiences that we can and allow them to take away from each one what they need.