Sunday, September 14, 2014

Teaching in the Future (30 Day Blogging Challenge: Day 12)

I have been asked to envision ways my teaching might evolve over the next five years.  This is difficult to answer, because technological changes are happening faster than the educational system can process them. Also, while I foresee my own practice evolving, particularly in the ways that I personally go about participating in professional development, I sometimes struggle to imagine how I might bring that type of flexible, self-directed, and personalized learning into the confines of a traditional school setting, increasingly driven by tight schedules and high-stakes testing.  I believe that it needs to happen, though.

While I see the need to teach in a way that is expansive, creative, and connected-- addressing the diverse needs and interests of students--I also know that schools need to fundamentally change.

Since I stopped working full-time as a content area teacher (social studies and language arts), I have been thinking more about how ineffectual traditional schooling can be.  Classes that don't do enough to seamlessly integrate technology and make global connections are not adequately serving the needs of students.  Classes that fail to give students white space to create and reflect are not doing enough to touch the hearts and souls of young people, let alone preparing them to be critical consumers of information with sophisticated problem-solving abilities.  Since I share this view with many other educators, who are equally interested in shifting their practice to better meet the needs of learners, I can't help but believe that schools will have to evolve in order to catch up.  I am, however, excited about the possibilities!

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