Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Teachers, students and ICT - the more things change...

I happened on an interesting juxtaposition of blog posts the other day: What students need from teachers and 10 things all teachers should know how to do.

Putting them together, you get a pretty interesting picture of the 21st century teacher.

Of course, lists like this are always and endlessly debatable, but I liked the following in particular:
  1. My job is to teach thinking.
  2. My job is to help them learn to think critically about the information they are encountering.
  3. My job is to help them articulate ideas fluently so they can be effective participants in this global conversation.
  4. My job is to encourage flexibility, creativity, resourcefulness and self-direction so that can they can continually adapt to a rapidly changing world.
  5. My job is still to call home when the work is not being done, to identify students who are struggling and provide them with support and to collect money for field trips and pizza days.
It seems to me that all the rest flow from these key points. And the interesting part is that I think these points were largely true when I was a student, when my father was a student, when my grandfather was a student. Yes the world has changed greatly, and continues to change rapidly, but some things don't change. Good teachers today are like the good teachers of yesterday - they're the ones who help you to realise your potential, let you find your voice, show you the possibilities, and are there when you need support.