Educating Kids or Teaching Dogs? 

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My good friend sent me a message about one teacher who was proud to “teach the heck out of something”.  That’s great… if you are:

  • Preparing someone for Jeopardy!
  • Perusing a dog trainer career
  • Enlisting as a Drill Sergeant
  • Sticking to the teaching methods that you learned from 1950’s theory
  • Have no intent to meet learners where they are in 2015.

A statement like that solidifies the fact that the teacher is not only out of touch, but in no shape of mind to even try to be effective. You may be thinking that it’s just an innocent comment.  It COULD be; it could also be intended for an audience that does not really know any better and only bases things off of what they experienced in school years ago.  Let’s be straight though – -if it’s a seasoned teacher saying that, it’s sad.  Really sad.

Have you not what watched what’s been going on over the past ten years?  Have you not realized that with the NJCCCS (hopefully you know what that is), the model curriculum, and how today’s learners are different from when you started?

No, I’m not talking about technology. Technology is just the vehicle to help deliver instruction.  Today, it’s chromebooks and tablets.  Ten years ago, it was a CPU.  Fifty years ago, it was the ballpoint pen.

One of my colleagues here in NJ, Dr. Robert Zywicki, gave me my aHa moment two summers ago at a workshop.  It was during the height of the anti-Common Core and we were all talking about how CommonCore is simply good teaching.  We talked about how teachers just reading from the teachers edition is awful and NOT teaching, how worksheets are pointless and tree killers, how some apps / websites are turning into digital worksheets and are just as pointless, and then, Rob hit the slam dunk. Rob said, “We should not be teaching kids to be on Jeopardy and be fountains of useless information. Jeopardy is not real life. We should be educating children to solve problems, use text to obtain factual information, and be productive citizens.”

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From that point on, that is ingrained in my brain.  Educate kids to be relevant.  Educate to be problem solvers.  Educate so that one can use the current technology in society today.

Teaching the heck out of something? It’s time to re-think about you embrace teaching.  Schools are not suppose to be nostalgic; they are suppose to be places where students LEARN and prepare for the future.

If you’re  simply and not educating, stop.  You’re doing a disservice to kids.  Break the cycle of limiting achievement.

Those who can, inspire & educate.  Those who can’t, teach.  Or try to.

Contribute to our future, not limit it.

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