It’s been said over and over again that today’s economy does not need the factory model education system. We know that we are so far past that. So why do we still beat this drum? Haven’t we changed?
The argument is for cross-curricular and inter-disciplinary projects for students. With such easy access to information, there are so many opportunities for the integration of content and skills from multiple disciplines into every class. The assessment of skills can be infused into challenging scenarios that connect to life and events outside of the classroom walls. The scenarios can be tough to create, but teachers tend to be creative, engaging storytellers. Better yet, use an actual real-world problem. Even better, have students FIND the problem that they want to solve! You may argue, “But there are basics to learn.” Well, there’s small group instruction and digital tools that help facilitate practice and assess the basics, while the rest of the class can be for collaboration and problem-solving. The problems and projects are how we really engage our students, helping them discover interests. We live and work in a project-based and problem-based world and economy, so why not engage our students in that type of work?
It’s NOT the teachers, the principals, administration, or really anyone on the “front lines” that are actively promoting a factory model of teaching. I’m very lucky. I rarely see kids in rows being talked at for an hour. My assertion is that we need more real-world, problem- and project-based activities in the classroom.
The blog explained. In today’s socially connected sharing world, our walls figuratively talk. In fact, we (collective society at large here) often “post” thoughts on our social media “walls.” So, today, our walls sort of do “talk.” Applying this thought and concept to our classrooms, have you ever thought to yourself, wouldn’t it be nice to be a “fly on the wall” and observe a class for the day? To eliminate the wonder of how Mrs. Smith “does it.” (Replace “it” with anything you’re curious about, i.e. engage her students, improve student achievement, manage a group of students, the list is almost infinite). One of my ideas for topics and shared stories of this blog is to answer some of those questions and to ask those questions of others. To showcase, to share, to reflect on what is happening in our classrooms and the amazing work of our teachers. I consider myself a very reflective and analytical person, and I’m taking this opportunity (that we all have) to share via the Internet, in what hopefully amounts to a constructive and productive blog and website.
This an examination of the art of teaching. Growth mindset. I and many administrators have the wonderful opportunity to visit classrooms each day. This is an awesome opportunity to observe and reflect on teaching. Many of us, including myself, often say something to the effect of, “I am a better teacher today because I’ve had the ability to visit so many classrooms and observe so many master teachers.” I believe this to be true. With the Internet giving everyone a voice and the opportunity to share and collaborate. This is where I plan to share – to share ideas, content that I’ve created, instructional strategies, innovative ideas and practices, and celebrate the positive impact teachers have on our youth. My hopes are that you’ll enjoy what you read, you’ll pick up a new idea, and we’ll start an intellectual conversation.