As I walk through school every day, I wonder how we get away with what we do. A fourth grade teacher reciting words in sentences for a spelling test... A third grade class in a straight line waiting for a bathroom break... A fifth grade teacher having their students work on a word find while checking their e-mail... a Kindergarten teacher spending hours after school cutting out shapes (I guess students can't do this anymore)... Instructional Leadership Teams having meetings about the best way to teach to the test (shhhh... were not supposed to say that)... Administrators more worried about you having your Emergency Substitute Plans turned in than how you may be involving your students in the learning process.
These are just a few of the mindless/arbitrary/innate activities that occur in an elementary school on a daily basis. This leads me to ask the question... What are we teaching our students?
While our world is going through the most fundamental changes that have ever occurred in regards to how we receive and relay information, our education system is stagnate.
We are creating student clones with minimal creativity, old technology use and 200 year old methods. Students are left to wonder (why?) they attend school. I often think of a similar question... why did I have to go to college to teach?
The majority of educators want to do what is best for the students. I know I do. Teaching is my job. This is how I make my living. I try to separate my personal life from my profession. Somehow, it always leads me back to this blog and the many other blogs that I read. I have actually found a road that is paved with the knowledge of learning, sharing and creation. The knowledge growth and reflection that has taken place in my life since I have been exposed to web 2.0 tools, surpasses any college education that I have received. We need to expose students to this world. It's a world they are already exploring without any guidance at home in their personal lives. They need guidance to make sense of the new literacy's that are available to them on the Internet.
Some questions to ponder...
1. How do we as teachers change the lives of our students?
2. What changes can we make to provide optimum growth in creativity?
3. As teachers/students, HOW do we learn?
4. As teachers/students, HOW do we teach?
5. How can we make a difference in our education system?