|Ms. Sarah Hunter||
Well, I just finished reading "Why School" by Will Richardson and, honestly, I'm so excited about what I've just read that I can't wait to get to my lesson plans. Why? Because "time's up," and it's time for me (and you) to tear up those outdated plans and breathe some new life into the classroom. Teachers, this is our moment! So let me take my stance based upon the two visions for change Richardson outlines in "Why School:" I don't want to simply strive for "better," I want to achieve "different" and "discovery" through education. What does this mean?
For those of us working our way through our teaching credential journey right now, I just can't help but feel that we are so lucky to be entering the field of education when we are. We are a generation of teachers that will have one foot in the "old school" and one foot in the "new school" way of approaching education. But I'm guessing that before any of us can imagine, we'll be ready to firmly plant both feet in the new school, and what a wonderful ride it will be. If all goes as it should, we'll be the last generation of teachers to have anything to do with the "traditional" approach to education. We'll be the ones that bring the new generation of educators into the system, and that thought right there will keep me pumped up about what we're doing for years to come.
I couldn't be more in favor of school getting transformed from the inside out. I wasn't a big fan of school myself, and I can remember the boredom, the monotony, the head bobbing using every ounce of my energy and focus just to keep my eyes open. Will Richardson is right, it's time to "stop asking questions on tests that can be answered by a Google search." It's time to connect with the world, because it's "not what I know, it's what we know" that matters, that will make a difference.
With reference to the six unlearning/relearning ideas for educators Richardson emphasizes, I hope to continue strengthening my commitment to each. I love the ideas of sharing everything and talking to strangers, and I think we're already establishing a great foundation of those ideas. I think I'm most excited about the opportunity to discover the curriculum with my students as opposed to delivering it, as well as transferring the power to the students. I've got a great deal to learn about the ways we can use technology to achieve real work for real audiences, so I can't wait to see how my ideas in this area develop over time.
Yesterday in class our students were working on a document on their Chromebooks, and one of them asked me the definition of a word. There is a teenager with a computer in front of her, connected to the internet, asking me to define a word. My response? "You've got the world at your fingertips, go find it yourself!" And that's just the beginning. No, they don't need us to teach them the simple things anymore, they need us to encourage them to explore, to dig, to deepen. And that's fine by me.
Richardson. W. (2012). Why School?: How Education Must Change When Learning and Education Are Everywhere . Kindle Edition.