As we get older, ten years does not seem like such a long time anymore. After all, we probably all have t-shirts in the closet and socks in the drawer that are older than ten years. When we were younger, it seemed like a lifetime. But now, it appears a decade can go by in the blink of an eye. This is never truer than being a teacher in the classroom. Before you know it, ten years can fly by instantly as a teacher and you could be looking forward to your retirement.
However, the key to being a superior teacher is to be able to change with the times. This can be awfully difficult for some as we all know teachers that still appear to be wearing the same clothes they did at the beginning of their teaching career. Plus, they are using the same lesson plans that they used back when MC Hammer pants were popular (still probably prefer these to those skinny jeans the guys are wearing).
There are many ways that teaching has changed during the last decade. Sometimes it is for the better and sometimes it is for the worst. That is up for you to decide!
Answering to Parents
While there are many responsible parents out there that only contact the teacher when needed, there are also quite a few that abuse their email privileges. It is much simpler as a teacher to reach out to parents with concerns when using email. We have all tried to contact parents through phone calls where we would have an easier time getting through to the President. But when too many emails are flying back and forth about little issues, it is being counterproductive. Over the last ten years, I have noticed I am definitely taking more time during the day to reply to emails than I ever have before.
If you are not constantly adding new ways to use technology in your classroom, then you are not doing your students any favors. Over the last decade, we have grown into a society where we use technology for everything. The students need their tech skills to grow right along with the times. Even if you as a person are not quite buying into the technology craze, you as a teacher should be a different story. This could possibly be the biggest change to the teaching field over the last decade. Who knew all of us would have to be so adept with computers and apps? I think of my father who retired 15 years ago and would swear at the VCR as he couldn’t figure out how to program it back in the day. Looks like he retired from teaching just in time!
Almost all classrooms are getting to the point where there is a computer device available for each of their students. This was called the 1:1 initiative when it first started. Since these devices are so readily available now at the drop of a hat, more schools are going with digital textbooks in place of the old paper ones. While it is handy to have a digital copy available to each student wherever they may be, it is also a bit puzzling. You would think a digital copy would be less expensive than an actual physical copy that is composed of plenty of ink and ten pounds of paper. However, the price is still the same. Go figure.
Social Media Is Everywhere
As an educator, we have to be careful about what we post on social media. It can come back to haunt us if someone takes something the wrong way. And even if you don’t have a presence on social media, your students and parents will. Teachers have never had to have a thicker skin than they do today. You will be talked about on social media during your teaching career. Hopefully, it will be mostly good!
Phones in the Classroom
A decade ago, the students who had their own phone was a bit more scarce. But now, every student has one tucked away in their pocket or backpack. This means that we are all one phone video away from going viral if we are not constantly diligent about ensuring all the phones are put away at all times. We can put these phones to good use if we create the right lesson plans, but it is just something else to be aware of as a teacher during this age.
If you are feeling a bit inadequate in the classroom because your tech skills are lacking, iAchieve can be of assistance. We offer professional development for technology that will increase your skills quickly.
Written by: Ryan Crawley