If you’re an educator, you know that the feeling of being overwhelmed comes from a plethora of directions. The province, curriculum, the school board, parents, experts, other teachers, students, and yourself. All these influences come crashing down on you – the axis of the wheel. “Teach this, grade this way, assess this way, engage this way, create this way, talk this way, be this way.” At every turn it seems there is some research, study, or opinion that says, teach this way. We read articles, go to PDs, and hear experts that espouse a certain way of teaching, and then we feel a pressure that we do the same thing. Now, it’s great to pick up on new methods and styles, but it should be because you felt moved, not because you felt obligated. We’ll now I’m going to tell you something: teach in a way where your interests and passions come out.
A teacher at my school is big into comics and graphic novels. He’s spent years building up a wide variety of grade-level graphic novels for his class. This year, his Graphic Novel Unit was a huge success. What a coincidence! He had the kids engaged and loving reading. Meanwhile, he got to grow his technology skills because he was engaged.
So teach the best way you know how. Push yourself to improve, but don’t feel that you have to jump on board with every trend. Still integrate technology because it is a tool, not an outcome. Uniformity can become boring and static, diversity strengthens.
If we want engaged students we need engaged educators.