I sometimes feel overwhelmed by all the “bells and whistles” the district throws at teachers. In the past year we have faced the Common Core Standards, Curriculum Engine, INFORM data collection, the growth model, and now the new accountability rating system, which seems like the Hotel.coms rating system. Using the growth model for individual students based on yearly growth seems like an excellent idea and I like the idea of tracking yearly growth of individual students rather then treating all students the same; however, we also need to move away from our archaic ways of teaching and to adapt to the 21st century in order to achieve success for all students. I know I sound rather redundant, but what I am trying to do is grow as an educator and give my students the best education possibly. I have extremely high expectations for my students; therefore, I must maintain high expectations for myself in order to continue to grow as an educator.
I recently read an article/blog written by Cool Cat Teacher The article was published in The Atlantic and was titled as “Reengaging A Lost Generation Students today are bored. To inspire them, we must think beyond textbooks and wastebasket work.” She points out there are 8 ways to inspire and educate our students in the 21st century. Educators need to think out of the box and focus on the students needs beyond what we think. We must truly try and look at life from their point of view in order to truly make a difference.
From this article/blog it lead me to Zunal WebQuest Maker which is a free service “Zunal WebQuest Maker is a web-based software for creating WebQuests in a short time without writing any HTML codes.” I found this site simple, easy to use, and an engaging way to get students immersed in the educating process by building web quests. I am always on the look out for ways to get my students engaged in the learning process.
I just hope that we continue to move ahead in education in order to truly help all students learn. We can no longer afford to take the “cookie cutter” approach to education in this country we must find a way to make sure our students needs are being met and that we get through the “growing pains” of education reform in the USA. We must continue to build an education program that is headed in the right direction in order to continue to compete on a global level. I leave you with a couple of other great articles about 21st century education. It is necessary to integrate technology in education and this article will help with resources on where to start. 9 GREAT ARTICLES ABOUT THE 21ST CENTURY EDUCATION.
Lastly Mary Beth Hertz wrote Seven Technology Tips for Younger Elementary students. This article is a great resource for introducing new technology in the classroom I especially like this advice, “If you feel overwhelmed, that’s normal. There is a large learning curve when bringing anything new into your classroom.” (MARY BETH HERTZ) I sometimes feel pessimistic, but with all the positive blogs I have been reading lately I’m starting to feel more optimistic and less alone in the world.