Education is undergoing a much-needed shakeup, and there are 5 Shifts We Need Now!

5 Shifts We Need in Education Now!I strive to remain as positive as possible, but I hit a boiling point, and I’m standing up for the teachers I know in love.

While I can’t express every concern in this one article, I hope that this post will help school decision-makers plan for the new normal.

And I hope that teachers know that I am on your side, doing everything I can to support you!

I’m mad! And I’m getting on my soapbox today in defense of teachers.

The state of education right now is maddening and unfair to teachers and students.

Let’s work together to break old ideas and mindsets and reinvent education for a post-COVID world.

Listen to this article.

 

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Can I just have a moment to be angry–angry for teachers, angry for educators across the U.S., probably across the globe, because I’m sure this is happening everywhere.

Not only are we being tasked with jobs we’ve never done before, but the world is pointing the finger at us as if it’s our fault. The decisions being made about how to handle this, and the make-shift models being used are such a disservice to teachers and students.

And by that, I’m going to point the finger at the schools that are running concurrent classrooms– trying to combine their virtual students with their in-person students at the same time. And I know why they did it. I know exactly why they did it. That doesn’t make it right.

These are two different worlds; teaching completely online versus teaching in person are two entirely different animals, even in a blended learning environment.

Curriculum design is different.

Assessment design is different.

Engagement is different.

The tools you use are different.

The teachers who are prepared to do this are DIFFERENT.

Education is shaking things up right now. And I would love to say that it’s for the better.

We have the opportunity to do it for the better, and that’s what breaks my heart. Because we’re putting Band-Aids on things instead of trying to innovate, and this is our opportunity to innovate.

Teachers are straddling the fence between online teaching and face-to-face teaching.

Of course, we hope that this is temporary and that things will go back to normal.

I understand the idea of keeping kids in the same class, and as they come back, it will be easy to put them in that in-person classroom.

That’s a lot of IFs. That’s IF we are not social distancing. That’s IF we can fit all those kids in our classrooms. That’s IF things go as we hoped. And in the process, we are losing so much valuable time.

Yes, this sucks! It does. This is not easy for anyone.

We’re trying to find the magic solution. There is no one solution. There’s never been a one-size-fits-all solution for education.

You’re going to do your best. And if this is the situation you are in, I am here fighting the fight for you–trying to help you get through this as much as I can.

What I see for the future of education is now an evolving role for teachers, no matter what grade or subject area you teach. We will have a growing need for teachers who specialize in online learning, specializing in that virtual space.

Have I ruffled any feathers? The future should ruffle your feathers!

#1 View this crisis as an opportunity.

The global pandemic and crisis before us is an opportunity to rethink education as we know it. Approach this with a positive mindset, and instead of just seeing problems, see this as an opportunity to innovate and do better for kids. How can you use the challenges before you as an opportunity for positive change?

#2 Stop trying to replicate the traditional school day online.

We cannot replicate the school day online. We have to break the traditional school day mindset–that school has to look a certain way. That is a mindset. Let it go. It’s time to rethink school and innovate.

#3 Recognize that every student doesn’t have to do the exact same thing at the exact same time.

Every student doesn’t have to do the exact same thing at the exact same time. This was a tough lesson for me to learn as a teacher. The more we integrate student choice and asynchronous activities for our students, the more we can differentiate and personalize for our students, and meet the demands of ever-changing schedules.

#4 Recognize that seat time does not equal learning.

The idea that seat time equals learning, oh my gosh, y’all, can we please let that go? Let go of this for K-12 students and adults. Just because they’re sitting there doesn’t mean that they have learned anything. For me, a 30-minute deep dive into learning is so much more valuable than staring at a screen for 5-7 hours.

#5 Let go of the locked-down mindset.

If you’re still asking how to lockdown every classroom activity–you don’t want them to use the chat, you don’t want them to use the discussion; you don’t want them to open other tabs. I get it. You have to engage your students. I taught middle school, and Lord, I know exactly what those kids are doing, but at the same time, we can’t pretend that the 21st Century doesn’t exist. We can’t put kids in the classrooms that we attended. We have to put kids in a new, untested environment. Give them questions that are deeper–that don’t show up first in a Google search!


Podcast Question of the Week: 

  • How can you use the challenges before you as an opportunity for positive change?
  • Post your answers in the Shake Up Learning Community or on your favorite social platform.

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