Throughout my study of adolescent education, and through my personal experience with teaching and being a student, I believe that education should be an interactive experience for all parties involved. The importance of getting students involved in the learning process is paramount, especially now with the new tools that we have and the modalities students bring with them to the classroom. The feat of transforming students into lifelong learners is one of the most rewarding achievements that a teacher can accomplish. For far too long, I feel as though classroom instruction has taken a didactic approach by relying heavily upon the textbook and other tradition text resources.
Another aspect of learning that I myself felt exposed to during my years in school is being taught to the test, especially during regents years. The content is not necessarily the issue in these cases, it’s how the content is taught in this approach that turns students away from the subject, and this is what I feel is one of the largest issues we now face in classroom instruction. I think that it is vital to engage students in the content and heighten their compassion about learning, which is my approach when instructing. There is a vast amount of additional resources that are accessible to teachers and students alike and should, by all means, be utilized in the learning process.
Recently, teaching education has been taking a progressive approach towards classroom instruction and one can attribute this to the increase in available educational technologies. As new teachers are coming out of their professional education, they are bringing with them the knowledge of such technology and how to incorporate it effectively into the classroom. However, when implementing technology into classroom instruction, it must be done appropriately and have a specific reason. Just because we have these new wonderful technologies does not give us enough reason to utilize them; the technology should support instruction and not overtake it.
But when we implement technology appropriately and effectively, we give students the opportunity to construct and represent their learning in completely new ways. It is much more effective when the teacher engages their students through the use of technology and other digital resources. Because our students that we educate today have a virtually grown up with technology, this will motivate students to become more active and involved in the learning process, thus promoting the construction their own understanding. By taking a hands-on approach to learning the students will feel a sense of empowerment when it comes to learning. Even by simply giving students choices within the classroom will get them motivated to explore content and participate in the learning process.
In order for students to survive in the classroom they must feel a sense of empowerment, safety, and belonging. And it is solely upon the teacher to provide their students with adequate opportunities to feel such liberties.