I was challenged by another educator to respond to the challenge by Scott McLeod to post 5 things we must stop pretending to do in education. I think there are many things that, as educators, we need to stop doing or allow to happen in our schools. I will post 5 now but I am sure I will post more later. Let me know what you think.
- We have to stop thinking we know how well a student will do in our class before they even spend a week with us. Too many times I have heard someone say that they knew what a certain student was going to get in their class from day 1. This is a blatant fixed mindset approach that intelligence is predetermined and that we can do nothing to help that student, that they were always going to get that grade no matter what we do. This whole idea goes against the idea of what teaching should be.
- That students are digital natives and that gives others the permission to not use technology in the learning environment. Students might know how to use some technology because they played with it and were not afraid to fail while trying it out. Too many people think students already know what they are doing when many of them have no idea about how to act/behave in a digital world, let alone the physical world.
- We have to stop pretending that a 1 size fits all education helps anyone. If we only aim for the middle, we are not helping anyone out and we must differentiate. We can do so much for our students if we stop doing things only one way and laminating our lesson plans.
- We have to stop pretending that what we did last year that worked, will work for our students this year. Have you taught for 20 years or have you taught 20 of the same year over and over. Our students change from year to year or even from day to day, our lessons also need to change. We can not assume that what we think worked in the past will work in the future. Everything needs to be constantly evaluated and modified in order to become better. There is no perfect way to teach, only a better way which comes about through hard work and reflection.
- And we definitely have to stop pretending we are in this alone. Teaching is a very difficult thing to do and is almost impossible to do effectively by yourself. Where as I was collaborating with other teachers in my building when I started teaching, I can now collaborate and get help from teachers across the world using social media. I do not have to go to sites like “Teachers Pay Teachers” when I can connect to so many others that will give me what they created for free. Social media can be such a powerful tool to connect educators that we can no longer avoid it, we need to use it as the powerful tool it is and then model that to our students.
Like I said, there are a ton of things I think we need to stop doing or stop saying. Tomorrow is a new day to get better, to grow, to learn, and we need to make sure that as educators, that is what we are doing. What do you think we need to stop pretending?