It’s been a few months since @mcleod put out his 5 things we need to stop pretending blogpost. Better late than never with my response.
1. The lower the age group of students, the less important the work of the teacher…
There’s a misconception particularly in the general public that early childhood education is all about changing nappies and blowing noses, Don’t get me wrong, giving out diplomas, determining who passes and fails, teaching the three Rs, all important work. But Early Childhood Education teachers are the ones teaching kids how to get along with each other and how to learn and do so in a child-centred way. The rest of the education system should be learning from them.
2. That all technology is innovative…
Just because its on a computer doesn’t make it innovative. Too many apps are little more than worksheets – which begs the question why not just use worksheets? More importantly if the biggest selling points of your latest technology spend are around control and compliance you don’t have technology problem you have a learning problem.
3. That teachers can’t be leaders…
Why is it that in education we only consider you a leader when you step out of the classroom into admin role? Why do we value voices in education that either are well removed from the realities of teaching? When was the last time you went to a major educational conference where the keynote was given by a current classroom teacher?
4. That our students lives don’t matter…
Those lunchtime squabbles over soccer matches and who gets to sit next to who are lunch might not seem important to you but you know who they are important to? The kids. Whether it’s sorting out the small stuff or tough stuff, when all is said and done the kids won’t remember what you taught them but they will remember how you made them feel in your class. Being too busy to care undermines your effectiveness in the classroom.
5. That a university degree = success…
Don’t get me wrong. I think university education is fantastic. But there are multiple pathways for success out there. What if instead of measuring pass rates we looked 5 or so years into the future and what we want our kids doing, being and acting and then figure out how to measure that? How much of what we do in schools is based on getting kids ready for the next level in education? How many kids leaving school thinking they are failures based on a narrow criteria for success?
I completely agree with everything you wrote! Great post. 🙂
Reblogged this on newTeachrtips and commented:
I think these are interesting points. Many people believe that kindergarten or below is simple because the children can’t pick up much material. However, these could be the most important years – if you don’t teach the kindergartners to read or the preschoolers how to socialize, they will struggle for most of their education. The lives of students makes a huge difference on how they act in school. How they feel each day affects the intake of learning and their behavior outbursts. Technology can affect the day as well. There is an urge to incorporate it because of the videos and other tools out there, but if the teacher cannot operate the system correctly, it can lose attention and bring down the lesson. Teachers can make a big difference as leaders, though. They bring an alternate perspective to the table because they actually work with kids and see the needs of the students.
Good luck getting #5 into any school’s annual implementation plan….