The world is literally changing right before our eyes. The future is now, and we all have a choice as to how we interact with that future. Education is fortunate to be in a position to not just accept, but to be an integral part of how the world is changing. With all the changes occurring, educators are forced to adapt and evolve. It’s our level of commitment and willingness to adapt and evolve that will ultimately dictate how relevant we remain. Here are 10 keys to remaining relevant as an educator:
1). Eliminate the phrase "that can't be done" from your vocabulary and replace it with "let's figure out how we can make this work."
2). Stop thinking that just because it worked for you in the past it will work now for today's students.
3). Don't think that technology integration in schools is just a "fad" that will go away like many other education initiatives have.
4). Embrace the notion that you, the educator, haven't been and will continue not to be the smartest person in the room.
5). Figure out creative and innovative ways to take learning beyond the confines of the four walls of your classroom.
6). Take full advantage of the many tools and platforms that are available to tap into the wide-world of collaboration and teamwork.
7). Stop believing that an educator-centered classroom that focuses on the educator more than the students is the most productive and effective learning environment.
8). Find ways to make learning relevant, purposeful, and meaningful for your students by focusing on real problems that affect real people.
9). Don't avoid trying new things and don't run the other way when someone mentions the word "change."
10). Last, don't be afraid to stand out; don't be afraid of being the first, and don't be afraid of standing up when everyone else sits down.
I’m confident that if we heed this advice we won’t just remain relevant, we will position ourselves to do great things for kids, which in turn will allow our kids to do great things for humanity.
Justin is currently the Director of Curriculum & Support Services in the Union R-XI School District in Union, Missouri. Prior to that, he was Principal and Assistant Principal at Poplar Bluff Junior High School in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, and before that he was a high school German teacher. Justin is very active on Twitter (@justintarte) and is the author of one of the most read education blogs in the world, Life of an Educator (justintarte.com). Justin is excited about integrating technology and social media into the educational setting, while increasing collaboration and transparency among all stakeholders.