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Friday, May 11, 2018

Have you thanked the 21st Century Teacher?

by Priyanka Raha ~ May 11, 2018

A quick google search will reveal that the following terms are very common - ‘the 21st century teacher’, ‘the 21st century learner’, ‘the 21st century school’. On the other hand terms like the 20th century teacher or learner, not so much. I think the following statistic has something to do with that. Today almost all public schools are connected to the internet, that number was 91 percent in 2008 and 15 percent in 1997. Which means the teachers who are teaching in these classrooms today did not grow up in a classroom like this. On top of that they have to prepare the next generation who will most seemingly live in a world that looks different from what it is today. Technology brings it’s own set of rewards and challenges. If you thought your job was difficult hand-holding just your child and helping him navigate in this quasi-digital world, then think classroom management of 20 or more kids. The difference is scale and theme. Besides just teaching content, teachers now have to teach digital citizenship, connectivity and social responsibility with respect to the physical and digital communities. The teacher appreciation week that went by got me thinking the uber important role that teachers play in the ever changing dimensions that technology brings. Teachers are responsible for giving the students the tools to learn most effectively on the web. Teach them to take command of their learning by using technology. Teach them to be responsible while making technology a conscious choice. 

Wall Display from an elementary school in Washington
Wall Display from an elementary school in Washington

Allowing a space for discovery through technology, coaching the class that technology is one of the many choices of activities, and educating the digital natives to own their technology and not the other way around - these are a few of the challenging tasks that the teachers perform to prepare the next generation for the future. There are a million reasons to thank a teacher but today I am going to be thankful for their adaptability in the changing times and for preparing the next generation to live and prosper in a future that is more seeming than present.

So, have you thanked the 21st century teacher?

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