Light Offerings

What does it mean to be a teacher in the 21st Century?

Posted by jturner56 on February 19, 2015

Same as it always has. Well summed up by Thom Markham in Redefining Teachers with a 21st Century Education ‘Story’:The world’s top performing organizations achieve their goals by offering a rich blend of culture, work, and engagement that deeply enrolls employees in the mission and purpose of the organization, attracts highly motivated, committed individuals to join a rewarding social network, and infuses the journey to success with joy and passion. That results in innovation, creativity, and a personal desire to contribute to systematic improvement. Overall, employees become part of a ‘story’ that enrolls them in a cause and brings out their best talents.”

What does that mean in an increasingly digital infused world?

I have found that good teaching with this consideration in mind includes

  • the teacher leading by example by modelling good learning as a lifelong learner (a cliche but increasingly inter weaved with being a good educator).
  • the teacher developing flattened learning environments that allow for student active contribution to their own learning and that of others
  • the importance of the teacher being the filter in an era of over choice, to help students build strong pathways to higher-order learning (from concept development to critical thinking)
  • building learning communities that value both diversity and the importance of commonalities
  • being part of ongoing conversation dedicated to building better futures for their charges, their community, and society

How is your story going?

Kung Hei Fat Choi (A Happy and Prosperous New Year) to all


3 Responses to “What does it mean to be a teacher in the 21st Century?”

  1. Vincent said

    John – great post. Related to one of your points, a good teacher helps the child arrange fragments of information to make meaning. As all children are more connected with access to so much information a good teacher helps develop strategies to manage this information in a meaningful way.

    • jturner56 said

      Thanks Vincent for your thoughts.
      Agree re importance of teachers to help their students make meaning out of information from near and far.
      Building depth of understanding that is relevant to the student and the student’s learning journey remains at the heart of quality education.

  2. lovenguin said

    A ‘bleat’, since we are in the Year of the Sheep, to contribute to my unfolding story. Markham makes a good point to ‘live the collaborative reality’ – PLN’s appear to be a key contributor to ongoing conversations that build better futures (Turner). As it’s New Year, I’m looking forward to finding ways to enhance my PLN and enrich my teaching and learning through the Digital Initiatives in my School Professional Learning Network.

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