As we see the shift in education, including the language and understanding of how we think and what we do, my greatest hope is that we value and gently lead generations of educators to an authentic disruption of their classrooms and campuses. While it’s true that our more experienced educator workforce was trained in the outdated methods of systems management to teach large groups of students simultaneously, that doesn’t mean that we leave these generations behind as we transform to new learning systems that can personalize education opportunities today.
Our foundation has to be centered in two things that cannot be negotiated. 1) We have to stop moving our content (what we make sure learners learn) away from classical education and 2) we have to continue moving forward in leveraging the best resources that technology can offer. While the needed concepts of education reform served a valuable interruption in our national thinking about education for 30 years, it’s become apparent that our educators are ready to intelligently move to the better position of education transformation.
Knowing that I’m one more likely to be considered one of our older educators myself, I love where we are going and anticipate where we will end up in all this. However, I fear we may, in our rush to transformation, abandon or adopt things that may not be best for our future generations of learners.
I’m finding that my generation of educators has now moved to a position of being what I would call, “Curious Curators”. We are certainly not denying that technology is necessary. We like it, we appreciate it. And, though we suffer from the consistent demands to create new log ins every single time, we are even willing to use it.
But, it’s still hard to think about giving up some of the empowerment. And it’s still difficult to think about letting go. We can become passive aggressive in our classrooms toward disruption. Looking like it’s changing but not changing.
We are the Curious Curators, the experienced and trustworthy. These younger generations just seem to know how to tap and swipe better. They can hold so many passwords and usernames in their heads, ready to thumb-type in a heartbeat. They are better than good.
But, we are the curators of the finest institutions of K-12 knowledge. Back in the day. When we could count on the same face, same pace, same place way of life. And, being curators, we can be alarmed by the exponential leaps toward transformation.
But it’s ok. As long as we remember to take deep breaths, remember that we are valuable and necessary for this and remember every username/password.
We need the new, emerging generations of educators. And, being the experienced, we should push hard for our teacher training to transform as well so these generations are better prepared for learning systems rather than teaching systems management in education.
But, we need to become more than curious. And our classrooms, which have certainly been the hallmark and gold standard for teaching for many years, can become the flag-bearing leaders into the new frontier of true, authentic, disruptive, student centered, powerful learning systems.
Leadership from us, the experienced, will move us away from autopsy testing systems and into biopsy systems that will actually help kids. Leadership from us will create good connections between emerging generations of new teachers and those of us who have been out here awhile.
Stop being curious curators of museums of knowledge. Start being adventurous, no matter the age or stage of life you’re in right now. This is your best opportunity to carve out new legacy for what we will be doing years after we leave the classroom.