cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by Ibrahim Iujaz
I was thinking about how we work with students every day, and how we often we caught up in teaching a grade or subject, instead of a child. There is an inherent difference in that language. As a simple concept, I was thinking about when we focus on our students, how does it help to have questions and focus based on the concept of a child’s “past, present, and future”. Quickly jotting down some thoughts, here are some ideas that have helped me to refocus on things that I can do to help students.
Some of the questions that we have to answer is not only “what does this student know?”, but we should also know where a student comes from, some of the things that they love and how we can build upon that, and some of the things that the have had trouble with, not only in school, but personally as well. This helps an educator to set up a great “learner profile” and focus on a child’s strengths.
We spend a lot of time talking about “what’s next” in education, but we need to spend time just catching up to now. For example, things like Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Vine, are all things that are part of a child’s life right now, but we spend little time talking about how kids are using these services, and what impact they might have later, or even right now. Also, working with students to develop healthy habits now is going to help them live much more productive lives. There is a lot of conversation on preparing kids for the “real world”, but they are already living in it. How do we help kids make sense of many things that are very relevant to them right now and empower them to be leaders today, not just tomorrow?
What will this child need to be able to do in the future? A curriculum is often a bet on what a child will need for the future, but unfortunately, sometimes it is wrong (how often do you use a haiku?). Educators should focus on how we can help kids to become adaptable to different situations, develop a love of learning, and help them to see change as an opportunity to do something great. That will help them to not only survive, but thrive in many situations.
If we started with this focus on the child as an individual, would teaching a curriculum actually become easier?
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