I’m Not Just a Teacher

Posted on July 10, 2011

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One of those fancy institutions of higher learning from which I have earned graduate credit

I’m also a student.

Since I graduated with my Master’s degree, I have taken almost a dozen workshops and courses through various online graduate and extension programs.

I’ve always been a proponent of continuing education.  If I expect my students to be perpetually inquisitive, how could I not model that behavior?

I’ve taken courses on teaching reading, secondary school educational theory, special education, using technology in classrooms, and others.  I’ve taken courses on teaching the AP course and workshops on AP and classroom efficiency and management.

In almost all courses and workshops, I’ve learned a few things that would eventually find their way into my course.  I’m not sure that’s a great rate of return for an expensive graduate level course.

Certainly, some workshops (and only one course) was paid for by my schools.  However, the last batch of courses I took from the above pictured institution were not reimbursed.

If I only took two ideas (about the average) from each course and used them in a class, I’d have enough material to last about one week of sustained teaching of a 50 minute class.

I’m not the most stellar student (although I’ve always low-balled myself in terms of intelligence and skill), but I’ve earned A+ work in all the courses I’ve taken online.

While you may think that’s fantastic, I think that’s kind of a bad sign.

If my 10 page paper on educational theory written over the span of three nights after work was good enough to earn a 98 percent, then what does that say about the quality of the course?

And these courses were taken from universities ranked in the top 50 in the nation, with one of them ranked in the top 10 in some national publications.

If I am to ask for an educational revolution for our youth, then there must also be an educational revolution across the entire spectrum of learning.

I don’t think I have all the answers, but fostering creativity in students, encouraging interdisciplinary approaches to learning, and using student-directed inquisition are three of the easiest ways to get the student to accomplish more in a faster and more meaningful way than our current system.

The current educational system was created during the Industrial Revolution.  Isn’t time we change this factory mentality and start working towards something greater and more powerful?

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Posted in: Education, Teaching