In the field of education, the notion of "life-long learning" is valued as a highly desired quality for teachers. In most preservice programs, teacher education centers around the history of education and how it is ever evolving, educational trends and how things are changing, and the connection between learning theories and instructional practices. Although many will reply "yes" I am a life long learner, without truly understanding how this foundational knowledge interplays with the mindset of "lifelong learning" such knowledge is useless.
I would also argue that part of being a life-long learner is the ability to be completely humble and reflect critically on how your students respond to a task. Do they seem dazed, confused, bored, off-task, uninterested or aloof? I was giving a presentation recently to a group of teachers and noticed a few were more interested in checking their facebook profile and pinning on Pinterest than exploring how to "unpack" a Common core standard. At first I chalked it up as the teachers own shortcomings and their disinterest in participating in the professional development workshop, but as I reflected deeper I thought about how I was failing to make the connection to today's 21 Century Educator, digitally connected with a capacity to multitask.
As I venture into the realm of higher education I realize that the way I teach shouldn't simply reflect how I was taught and what I believe to be valuable, but it should encompass the skills and knowledge that 21 Century educators will need to create an interactive and always engaging learning environment. For today's lesson I will be creating a virtual mindmap and skipping the Power Point.
I will ask my students to reflect on this blog post and think about a "life lesson" they recently had in their classroom and how it will impact their practice.