In the first part of this MindShift article, the future for the teaching profession, and my role in it, feels pretty bleak. Becoming a teacher doesn't offer the same thrills as working for a cutting edge corporation, and the history of teaching and education is laden with conflicting opinions on the "right" way to teach and assess learning. Something has to give.
MindShift asserts that we are at a time of great transformation worldwide, and I certainly agree with that statement. Take this opportunity of transformation and add teachers in to the equation, and we could be on the verge of a change in the field of education greater than has ever happened in the history of teaching. According to the article, "the future will be invented - and you will be a part of it." It's a bit overwhelming, to look at the troubled past of education and realize that I will join in the responsibility of making the future brighter, starting now. To do this, MindShift points to a few strategies we teachers can embody:
"Contribute to a global vision." I am totally on board here. I got chills when I read the next part, "know that a significant shift has taken place world-wide: The concerns of teachers everywhere have converged, and every forward-focused teacher can be not just a local teacher, but part of connected network of educators trying to rally the world on behalf of youth." I mean, really, wow. It's not just my classroom I can rally, the opportunity is here to join forces with educators globally and impact life and learning worldwide.
"Redefine smart." Here's the big challenge; what we teach cannot be limited to the curriculum alone. "No one really knows how to design a system that leads to ‘better’ people—and yet that’s the task." We are the teachers, the motivators, the cheerleaders that must inspire the very best in each of our students. And that's asking a lot, especially when not every student is ready to meet you there.
"Live the collaborative reality." Now here is a strategy where we are totally in control of our own success. Instead of carrying this great weight of education alone, we can connect with each other to no end. And I intend to do so. "Think of yourself as living in a peer-driven world, in which ideas and change come from within and below, not from the top, and you can make the difference." I'm a tweeting machine these days, and I plan to keep it that way and further develop my understanding of how to grow my PLN.
Overall, I get what MindShift is saying here, and I like it. I'm aware that what we're saying here leans towards the idealistic side of things, but I think it's better to be there than anywhere else. We have to believe that we can get there to inspire the changes that we need to live as teachers.
Markham, Thom. "Redefining Teachers with a 21st Century Education ‘Story’." MindShift. MindShift, 15 Feb. 2011. Web. 26 Sept. 2015. <http://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2015/02/11/redefining-teachers-with-a-21st-century-education-story/>.