Monday, 21 April 2014

Complex composition

Education seems to be at a crossroad with many educators embracing our connected world and 21st century skills, but you have many that are still arguing for the 20th century model of teaching methods. I have been involved in education for only a number of years, and I have come across both sides already. I'm from a conservative South African background, and my schooling background was rooted in the old school methods. I did well under these conditions, and excelled at memorising facts for exams. It could well be imagined that I would prescribe to these methods, but i realised many years ago that it is not conducive to lifelong learning and development.

As I became involved in teaching, my mind was opened to the many different possibilities of learning styles and teaching methods. When I was introduced to Twitter just over two years ago it suddenly opened up even more information and connections. Slowly I delved into this medium of discovering information, with plenty of reading involved. Then I started sharing, getting involved in chats and discussions. I have interacted with educators from the US, Canada, New Zealand, UK, France, Hong Kong, China and many in my own country, Australia. In 2013 I started blogging, using other online platforms to connect and share, and building a varied personal learning network.

The 21st century teacher has the opportunity to connect, share and collaborate with educators from all over the world. We all have the chance to develop our teaching practice, share our expertise, contribute to the changing dynamic of education, and above all serve our student better. Technology and being connected are only two parts of the complex composition of a 21st century teacher. At the heart of it all is still quality pedagogy and relationships, and a multitude of other components. I absolutely love the teaching profession, the challenges, the opportunities, the chance to see young people develop, helping them on their learning journey, and at the same time I'm continually learning. As I continue to develop I will always remember where I came from in my own education background, and look forward to serving my students to the best of my abilities.