Tuesday, February 11, 2014

So...I Read a Post Today

It was this:

10 Ways Teacher Planning Should Adjust to the Google Generation by Terry Heick.

I liked the article just fine. It speaks to our need as teachers to recognize the context in which our current students live, and adjust our teaching and instruction accordingly. Pretty straightforward, right?

I'd hope so, but I'm not so sure.

I think the concept itself squares just fine with teachers, but when it comes to student results, I wonder how often we attribute our willingness to meet students where they are as a primary reason why they perform the way they do.

Hear me out.

We know external factors contribute to student learning. Socioeconomic status. Parent involvement. Chemical use. Living situations. Peer pressure. Etc. Etc. Etc.

But if we choose to take on this exceptional challenge of making sure each and every student leaves our schools seeing no obstacles to his or her future, then we ought to start reimagining the approach we take to do that.

We have to meet kids where they are. We have to accept them as products of the generation from which they've come and the environments from which they've been raised. If they don't seem like the kids we taught 5 years ago, it's because they're not. What are we doing to ensure that the work we ask them to do is meaningful, relevant, and thought provoking so that kids feel investing in the time they give us, and leave our classrooms with the type of profound learning we so badly want for them?

It won't happen unless we're willing to take a serious look at who those kids are and how that influences what we need to do to reach them.

I know this isn't a new idea. It's essentially a regurgitation of a million and one conversations we've all had. Nevertheless, it's a reminder that wouldn't hurt to reiterate every single day.

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