Teachers need to teach students’ that make changes in their lives are part of growing. As we embrace change in our lives we are evolving with our world. Our students have a technology world running in front of them and as teachers we need to prepare our students for the world they have to live in. In order to relate to our students we should be playing some of the games in order to understand their language of their world. At this point of my life I do play “Candy Crush” and it ends there, so I do have to make a change in my life to help me to relate more with the students.
Students are constantly offered change in their lives throughout their school day. Ballas-Ruta, in The Art of Embracing Change, shared this statement in her article, “Try to see the situation from outside the box. It is okay to be mad or frustrated. You are human after all. But once the emotions have calmed down, just remember that we are all works in progress. Rome was not built in a day…neither were you.” This statement is what I emphasize in my classes. The students are under a huge amount of stress and need to understand that they are human and their emotions will calm down. We all are a work in progress; as teachers we need to know that our students live in constant change and live under the stress of it. They are at different levels of stress and different levels of change. We have to, not only, offer the change, but, we need to help them to adjust to the change that is happening to them. As teachers we have to remember the changes that we require our students to go through and embrace the changes that they have to go through. We, teachers, also need to challenge ourselves to play the games that the students’ are playing to relate to them. To play their games would help us to talk with their language and relate at a deeper level. I have turned down the opportunity to play minecraft with my children and now I see that I need to get out of my comfort zone and play minecraft with them. This would help me to see what the attraction is to my children and also help me to interact with them more on their level. This would also help me to relate more to my students at school by understanding more about their game world and how it feels for them to be pushed in my math world.
The book, A New Culture of Learning, Thomas and Brown (p.40) gave the quote, “Give a man a fish . . . “ as an out dated quote due to the assumption we will not always have fish. Living in a fishing world, yes, I see the herring market struggling, but the salmon market is alive and well with its own struggles. As a fisher-woman, I see the state of Alaska making decisions to preserve the salmon runs. I see the salmon hatcheries reproducing salmon at a high rate. We had a huge return of dogs and a continuous flow of Coho from our hatcheries. But, the main point of this quote was missed by the book, which is the concept of, teaching the students to continuously learn throughout their lives and they will be set for life regardless of what survives or doesn’t survive in this world. The quote isn’t about fish, it is about teaching the right concepts, not necessarily the common core, but how to learn (as mentioned on September 24, 2015 #ETLEAD twitted by Lee Graham). This is a great topic of change. We need to be ready to change throughout our lives, so in turn, we need to teach our students to adjust to changes in their lives. This isn’t just about our students’ but about teachers also.
A different way of teaching was presented to me this week on Ted-Talks which was brought up by Chris Bryner on Twitter class. Sugata Mitra broke his class into groups for Internet learning, this has changed my teaching approach. He ran his groups with a bit of liberation with some rules applied; he broke the students into groups of 4 with one computer. The students can change groups for whatever reason. The students were allowed to peer over shoulders of other groups and bring back to their groups any ideas as if it was their own. Students were given a topic to study together. He said that the top groups would be done in 15-20 minutes and the slowest group would finish in 45 minutes. Out of this I heard that even the slowest group would be done in the class hour. The students would be in depth study over a topic that would be of more their interest than if they had to hear from a lecture. The students would have a photographic memory of the experience from the research and talking amongst each other. This type of teaching I want to try in my classroom and this will be a huge change for me. I would love to see what this produces for my students. I hear from my students that they are into the games and meet as a group at homes to “play” these games. They already are talking in groups and conquering concepts to beat a game, as a teacher, I need to take this skill that they developed on their own time with games and use it in the classroom.
I am looking forward to the changes in my classroom, as a game player, “explorer” (gamer test result), I need to explore new types of teaching that will allow the skills that the students have as group effort to attack and conquer a topic. With the group effort of researching a topic to complete a challenge, the students will learn to learn from research through guidance. As a group they will learn and remember in a greater depth than if I just tell them in the front of the classroom. So, as Arthur C Clarke states to Sugata Mitra in a interview, “A teacher that can be replaced by a machine should be.” This is backed up by a need of a “Grandma” to cheer them on. This challenges me to ask the students the write questions to help them research and learn what they need to learn to prepare them for the future job that we don’t even know about. I can see that technology might be able to replace me, but, I will be the one presenting the topic in front of them to guide them and I will be there to cheer them on, so I would be the educated “Grandma” in the room. As a game player, I would have the skills to work as a group of people, relying on others to help me; we can conquer the task put before us.
Ballas-Ruta, N., Published in clarity. The Art of Embracing Change. Retrieved September 2015 from http://thinksimplenow.com/clarity/embracing-change/
Mitra, S., TedTalk. The Child Driven Education. Retrieved September 24, 2015 from www.ted.com/talks/sugata_mitra_the_child_driven_education
Thomas, D, & Brown, J. S., (2011). A New Culture of Learning: Cultivating the Imagination for a World of Constant Change. Charleston, SC: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.
Graham, L., Bryner, C. (2015). Twitter, #ETLEAD. September 24, 2015 class.
Duncan, C. (2015) Twitter, #ETLEAD. September 24, 2015 class.