As we near the end of our adventures in EDU 533 (although, I'm not planning on wrapping this blog, for those of you who may be interested in continuing through my educational/instructional journey), there is one aspect of this whole thing that I feel has been kind of lacking.
Call it an enduring theme, call it a lasting skill, call it essential points, call it whatever you'd like to call it. I'm going to call it an educational philosophy, and I'm not entirely sure that it's been as much of a topic as I would have liked it to be in this course.
We are teachers (or we are going to be teachers). We teach kids. What are we going to teach them? "3rd grade" is the wrong answer. So is "english" or "science" or "math." In my classes, I teach my students how to think critically, solve problems, make decisions, and filter large quantities of information into usable pieces. I happen to teach those things through chemistry, but the chemistry is the least of what I teach. You may teach something else, and that's fabulous! Kids need us to teach them a lot of things. Very often, what we model proves to be one of the most influential forms of instruction. So...just think about it. You don't have to decide right away, but, please, think about what you're teaching.
As we work our way through this multitude of technological tools, I wanted to point out a statement that I remind myself and my colleagues of whenever it is appropriate: Long after they forget what you teach them, they remember how you treat them. The technology is cool, but it's not what we do. It is a tool to help us do what we do, and hopefully help us do what we do better.