How are those New Year’s resolutions coming? Every New Years, humans across our country and even the world commit to doing something better for themselves, or for others. I remember when I was in the school system, the faculty would always make a New Year’s resolution, committing to better the learning environment for our students. Our resolutions ranged from focusing on a new teaching style to bringing in professionals to showcase the many job opportunities there were for our students.
Over the Holiday break, I was reading an article written by Linda Jacobson, Roger Riddell, and Naaz Modan, that made me think about a 2020 New Year’s resolution – A NICERC Teacher Resolution!
During 2020, I challenge all of our educators to rethink what a classroom and instruction can be!
The paradigm shift of traditional classroom and instructional models — which has largely been centered around the idea of the teacher’s transition from the “sage on the stage” who talks at students to the “guide at the side” who works with them — has largely been portrayed in terms of flexible seating arrangements and spaces resembling modern open office environments.
But the redefinition of what constitutes a classroom and what instruction can be is so much more, and a number of schools and districts stand to shake that up even further.
Much of these efforts are being driven by increased attention to the benefits of hands-on learning opportunities, which add real-world relevance and experience to lessons, in turn feeding in-demand career-and-technical programming.
Some districts are also rethinking the title of teacher, going so far as to rebrand classroom educators as “learning engineers” to nudge educators into a “designer” mindset. The next year may better define if we are truly on the way to a time where the “formal” classroom is any environment you might be able to learn something in, and where instruction is any experience providing practical knowledge based on students’ interests. Happy 2020 and if there are ways in which we can help you rethink what a classroom and instruction can be, please let us know!
-Kevin Nolten, Director of Academic Outreach for NICERC