What will a classroom look like in 2025……In Response…….
We need to give more control to students in a collaborative effort with other students and teachers around the globe. Kids are ignoring teachers because they’re bored.
Kids are ignoring those teachers that haven’t given up control. Teachers are no longer the gatekeepers of information as students can find information, facts, and concepts on-line. Teachers need to adapt and create meaningful conversations and content, extending the learning opportunities from the information that the students can find in a matter of seconds. The entire system needs to adapt. How? Perhaps a topic for a future post, but let me start by responding to the three points of emphasis mentioned in Ms Weida’s well written post.
- Teacher Pay — I agree. Good teachers should be paid accordingly. Mediocre teachers with 15 years of experience should not get paid the same as an outstanding teacher with 2 years of experience. Eliminate such pay-scales as it doesn’t reward those that are best serving our students. This would frustrate, and possibly weed out, those teachers that have settled in their methods and have relied on such an objective system of compensation.
- Focus on Areas of Need — I agree. Let’s take this a step further than just individual subjects areas. We need to focus more on how to actively engage and immerse students in all subject areas. The technology is, and has been there to do this for several years. Those teachers and administrators that are claiming that students are no longer paying attention need to catch up with this generation of digital natives and get them engaged. Stop forcing them to memorize the Periodic Table and Quadratic Equations and send them on a virtual tour with experts that use such tools on a daily basis, or create exploratory pathways through interdisciplinary courses.
- More Support. Less Oversight — I agree. Colleges and Universities need to step up their game and teach and instill an Innovators Mindset to our future educators. Technology has given teachers the resources to make personal connections creating experiences that could impact a child’s learning far more than a worksheet, lecture or test ever will. The latest professional development craze now provide breakout EDU workshop sessions, allowing teachers to pick and choose their own professional growth path. Mentoring programs are available for new teachers. The use of social media for professional development and mentoring has been active for several years. Twitter can be one of the greatest mentoring tools available if used resourcefully. If you are a struggling teacher and are willing to throw your pride aside, ask your PLN on Twitter for ideas. If you are following those that are innovative I would almost guarantee that you would receive several responses filled with new ideas in a matter of minutes.
Ms. Weida does a great job of citing the reasons why teachers are quitting. Lack of preparation, lack of support, challenging working conditions and dissatisfaction with compensation. All valid reasons, but I am guessing that these same reasons for quitting exist for all young professionals entering the work force - regardless of career choice. Young professionals that persevere have dealt with the same issues and have made it because they are driven by passion and innovation, not by compensation. Which leads us back to point number one.
All educators would agree that Washington needs to get out of the way, yet we bark when funding cuts are made to the current traditional system. Those rooted in the traditional educational set up only see how proposed funding cuts have and will effect the traditional system. Take it to another level (or two). Look at what Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg is revolutionizing. School Choice is already permitted, but lets’s take that to another level as well. Perhaps allow Teacher Choice….regardless of school, district or state.
If we look beyond the current traditional system and revolutionize a new one; fixing the concerns listed in Ms Weida’s post may be a mute point by 2025.