“I’ll just use my chalkboard, I’m comfortable with that.” I often hear statements like this and wanted to reflect on the teaching profession. In my 6+ years in education, I have heard a lot of opinions and have seen many teaching styles. Some styles worked and others worked but did not work for me. I wanted to address the statement above because I believe it is a mindset of a lot of educators as technology, standards, and assessments are changing rapidly.
I don’t have many “years of service” under my belt but I feel that I have valuable information to share and I also believe that education professionals need to be lifelong learners.
Lifelong learning means that you are never shy to explore something new. I simply believe that an educator needs to be a lifelong learner to increase student achievement. People in education are there for one reason and one reason only…the student. If a teacher, administrator, technology coordinator, or whomever does not believe the student is the number one reason they show up each day, then he or she is in the wrong profession.
Educators could easily use the same teaching strategies from year to year, but is that what the student wants and needs to be successful? When “I’ll just use my chalkboard, I’m comfortable with that” is said, it tells me that this educator is thinking about him/herself and putting the student second. This is not acceptable, and our educational system needs to find a way to keep lifelong learners working in our schools and get rid of the others. Our future is too important!
I had the pleasure to shadow and work with some great educators. Each one of them was learning and working as hard as they possibly could FOR their students. If a chalkboard increases achievement for a student, use it! My message in this post is to use teaching strategies, curriculum, and technology that engages students.
When I attended grade school I had to speak the teachers language. But now, with the informational world moving so fast, teachers need to speak the students language and create a partnership in learning. Sit-Get-Spit-Forget does NOT work anymore. I grew up this way as a student and I know some students are still under this ridiculous learning style.
Now, we all know change is hard and especially hard for educators. But we need to change and need to transform education into something new. If an educator is a lifelong learner that instills a value in their students that learning is a very powerful thing.
With social media like Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest educators can learn on their own time and basically for free. To end this post I would like to challenge you all to learning something new. Learn something that you are passionate about and share that learning experience with your students. I will never stop learning simply because its just too boring to keep using the chalkboard.