Master Teacher I, English Dept.
In the coming of K-12 curriculum here in our country, it’s also the time that the term 21st century learner bobbed up and that these learners are known to be collaborative, adaptive and a savvy in information, media and technology.
But what about a 21st Century Teacher? We know they are student centric, holistic, and that they must be 21st Century learners as well. But I know teachers are more than this.
Teaching is hard work and the truth is, some teachers never grow to be anything better than mediocre. They do the bare minimum required and very little more. 21st century teachers, however, work tirelessly to create a challenging, nurturing environment for their students. As a teacher who is establishing myself to get the better of K-12, here are some important points that I learned:
A 21st Century Teacher:
- Respects students. In a 21st century classroom, each person’s ideas and opinions are valued. Students feel safe to express their feelings and learn to respect and listen to others.
- Creates a sense of community in the classroom. In this small community, there are rules to follow and jobs to be done and each student is aware that he or she is a significant, integral part of the group.
- Sets high expectations for all students. This teacher realizes that the expectations she has for her students will greatly affect their achievement.
- Has her own love of learning. She inspires students with her passion for education. She constantly renews herself as a professional on her quest to provide students with the highest quality of education possible. This teacher has no fear of learning new teaching strategies or incorporating new technologies into lessons, and always seems to be the one who is willing to share what he’s learned with colleagues.
- Can “shift-gears” and is flexible when a lesson isn’t working. This teacher assesses her teaching throughout the lessons and finds new ways to present material to make sure that every student understands the key concepts.
- Maintains professionalism in all areas—from personal appearance to organizational skills and preparedness for each day. Her communication skills are exemplary, whether she is speaking with the principal or department head, one of her students or a colleague. The respect that this teacher receives because of her professional manner is apparent to those around her.
I understand that while teaching is a gift that seems to come quite naturally for some, others have to work overtime to achieve a 21st Century Teacher status. Yet, the payoff is monumental — for both the teacher and the students. And this, is my GOAL. Be a 21st Century Teacher always.