Sometimes it feels like kids are being taught how to shoe horses and hitch up a wagon while their parents get around on rocket ships. Teachers need to push their personal expectations beyond what they were 30 years ago when they were studying. We need to be challenging ourselves to be learners, to be uncomfortable and to learn something new to provide relevant learning experiences for our students. This can be hard to do if our colleagues are still coasting, yet to be an effective teacher, it is a must. One such teacher is Anne Mirtschin from country Victoria. In 18 short months she has transformed the learning experiences for the students of an isolated country school into a globally connected classroom with award winner students who are venturing into new technology experiences along with their teacher.
Watching her presentation Flat Classroom Walls is nothing short of inspiring. The contacts she has made worldwide have lead to fascinating student led investigations, revealing interactions with different cultures and a greater experience of their home country. Some of her students have been part of a Russian TV news broadcast, others have travelled to Qatar and some have ventured into virtual worlds.
Since watching this a few days ago, it keeps spinning in my head. It is so exciting and inspiring. This teacher has taken up the challenge, and taken her students with her for the ride. Her personal and professional growth have been enormous. This is a teacher who is dedicated to bringing her students the best education possible and preparing them to be participants in the world at large. With teachers doing this for their students, what will become of the students whose teachers won’t take up the personal challenge? Isn’t our purpose always this:
- to prepare students for life
- to give them experiences that are worthwhile
- to set them on a path of self discovery
Let’s leave the horses for recreational activities and power our students with rocket ship shoes for life adventures in the 21st century!