What am I going to do as an English teacher to engage with the 21st century skills?
I am a teacher of the 21st century. What does it mean for me a 45 year-old teacher born in the 20th century?
Honestly speaking, it is very difficult to teach nowadays. “Teachers in the 21st century face challenges that their predecessors did not. The new 21st century learners must master more than the core curriculum to succeed in secondary and postsecondary institutions, as well as in the workplace”, wrote Constance Simmnons. Instead of teaching using chalk a modern teacher needs to be an information technology expert, a technician, an artist and an actor. More than that, I try to remember that I am a digital immigrant forced to work with digital natives. Following to Mark Prenski “Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants” (2001) we have to differ two terms as “digital natives” and “digital immigrants”.And it seems to me that my students know it because they can do a lot of things working on their computers, tablets, mobile phones. Sometimes they say why they need a teacher when they have got a Google? Can it really be true? I try to follow them, even learn from them but sometimes they cannot understand me. I work harder but they study worse. I use modern technologies but they are bored during my lessons. A traditional Russian question – what to do?
To change myself is the only thing to do I think. I completely agree with this opinion once found in the Internet “To be an effective 21st century teacher, a teacher must first possess the very same 21st century skills that their students are expected to have. And, in addition to those skills, they must be able to help all of their students obtain and develop 21st century skills”. Thus, teaching 21st century skills will be challenging and exciting because it will be a new experience for both teachers and students. To be an effective 21st century teacher I must be a collaborative lifelong learner and a global educator.
Working at school I am sure school has a lack of individuals, who can make decisions and cope with the stress of the changing world of schools. At the same time the modern teachers need to be able to work in teams, cooperate with colleagues and parents. Working with new technologies is also important in relating to students.
I suppose that the main 21st century teachers’ skills are the following: critical thinking, professional development, collaboration, making content relevant for the students, correct using traditional experiences in modern schools. And certainly we can see the portrait of a modern teacher –the Tutor, the Organizer, the Resource, the Participant, the Prompter, the Assessor, the Facilitator.
Teachers in the 21st century confront the challenges opened up by globalization. Teachers should introduce students to their world, and moreover inculcate in them a sense of their own power to create change in the world. Teachers should not just transmit knowledge to students; they should instill in them a sense of their place in the larger world, and urge them to be active participants in it.
Finally, we must be flexible in how we teach and be a non-stop engine for ever, while we are TEACHERS.
Constance Simmons “Teacher Skills for the 21st century” eHow Education K-12
Mark Prenski “Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants” 2001.
Lee Flamand “role of Teachers in the 21st Century”eHow Contributor.