Ouch! That was quite cynical, but I guess that was the point.
After watching “When I Become a Teacher” I kept waiting for the punch line and thankfully it finally came…Be different, Teach different. There are a couple realities about this video that struck me. First, I have to admit that when I was younger, sitting in class on the other side of the desk it was easy to make judgments about teaching. Second, I have met at least one of each kind of teacher they sarcastically spoke about.
“I want to retire next year and it just doesn’t matter any more.” was especially interesting. It seems like every school I have worked in, has at least one of those teachers. There is always a person that is just hanging on for one or two more years and is running on cruise-control. Unfortunately, they are probably the same person described as “I’m going to teach one year, twenty-five times.” There’s no room for this type of teacher.
How does this relate to my Tech Reflections blog? Well, my rant isn’t based on an scientific data, just a gut feeling and observations I’ve made over the last 14 years of teaching. Some of the teachers that were parodied in this clip are the same ones that are resistant to technology. Give me some chalk and a black board and let me be! The education profession is changing rapidly with every bit of information we uncover. If you’re not happy with change you will never be happy as a teacher.
One of the changes that none of us can escape is the use of technology for instruction and administrative tasks. We are constantly asked to use a new computer program for report cards, for curriculum development, database management, for instruction, etc… Teachers must be flexible enough to learn and embrace these tools knowing full well that in a couple more years, just when they’ve learned how to do x, y and z, it’s time to learn something new.
Using technology in the classroom is the baseline, the norm, it is expected. A teacher can aspire to be different and teach different if they take the technology resources they have and go beyond what is expected. Perhaps that is what the video is telling us.
Looking at this video with a technology slant, I can’t say that the tag line Be different, Teach different has gone far enough, I’d like to add one more line. I took the liberty to rewrite (in bold) the closing statements at the end of the video, perhaps this is what they could say:
Don’t be like us
Use technology to…