Pencils, Backpacks, and Perspective: A Note

I spend a lot of time on this blog discussing the latest trends in education and methods of teaching, but I feel as though when talking about all of this it’s important to keep one’s feet firmly planted on the ground. As fun and beneficial it can be to imagine ideal classrooms and technological integration, it seems key to always keep in mind the reality of each individual classroom environment. No two are identical, and methods that work fantastically for one may be detrimental in another. As a student have always believed that the best way to learn was to really have a teacher connect you to the material and that material to the real world. But there are practically infinite ways of going about that.

Maybe integrating educational video games in your classroom didn’t work, but instituting blogging projects did – great! Maybe digital textbooks were too much of a hassle, but online platforms made material a breeze to get through – great! What’s important is that students are getting both the attention and information they need in a safe and thought-provoking environment.

There are all sorts of arguments out there about the actual content students should be learning. The new Common Core standards are one subject that seems to be everywhere at the moment. And, understandably, it is hard to decide what material is worth teaching when we can’t even predict what sorts of jobs today’s students will have in the future. That is, obviously, a huge issue today’s educators face. But in my mind, what that means is that no matter what material students are taught, the basic skills that they will need for the future must be cultivated in them. Critical thinking, creativity, problem-solving – these are strengths that will help them no matter what the future holds.

I suppose what I’m trying to say is that though the future is unpredictable, and though it seems an impossible task to “fix” the education system to suit that unknown goal, the one thing we can all do is keep the students in mind. Standing firmly in the reality that is each and every individual student’s needs and striving to help them and guide them toward a successful future.