Improving as a Teacher: A Reflection and Projection

Coming to Korea, I thought I was prepared with my B.A. in AL and my TEFL certification but I soon learned that wasn’t enough, at least not for a serious career. Most people’s images of a teacher come from what they observed as students in their 13+ years of schooling but the teachers of a decade (or two) ago are not the teachers of tomorrow, or even the teachers of today.

Today’s educators need to be equipped to teach the current generation of Millennials. Simply using paper and pen in the classroom is not enough to bring students into the Information Age and age of technology or to set you apart from the pack. Teachers should update methodology with the times, integrating apps, websites, and other technologies to contextualize their subject content for Millennials. Educators also need to learn how to leave a digital footprint on the internet that will speak for them above their CVs.

What the best vehicle for subject content will depend on student level and access to technologies, but it is safe to say that whatever there is, it is better to be on multiple platforms to reach a wider range of students. Simply being aware of Youtube or basic blogging techniques is a start, but in order to be a 21st century teacher I hope to learn more than this in the coming months and begin to explore these methods in my classroom as well as what options are available for learners at all ages. In addition, another goal is to begin building an online showcase of myself as an educator for future employers to see.

Are you preparing yourself now for tomorrow’s classroom? If so, how?

Image can be found at the following link: https://www.google.co.kr/search?q=outdated+teacher&newwindow=1&espv=2&biw=1366&bih=667&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=aSzQVN7FIcHM8gXcoYH4CQ&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAQ#newwindow=1&tbm=isch&q=modern+vs+traditional+classroom+&imgdii=_&imgrc=z_tdTNjfHyxURM%253A%3BxMRk9SAVGJeZsM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.graphs.net%252Fwp-content%252Fuploads%252F2012%252F08%252F21st-Century-Classroom-Components.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fgraphs.net%252F21st-century-classroom-components.html%3B2385%3B1124
Image of the 21st Century Classroom. How Will Technology Change Teaching?

*Credit for Image: https://www.google.co.kr/search?q=outdated+teacher&newwindow=1&espv=2&biw=1366&bih=667&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=aSzQVN7FIcHM8gXcoYH4CQ&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAQ#newwindow=1&tbm=isch&q=modern+vs+traditional+classroom+&imgdii=_&imgrc=z_tdTNjfHyxURM%253A%3BxMRk9SAVGJeZsM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.graphs.net%252Fwp-content%252Fuploads%252F2012%252F08%252F21st-Century-Classroom-Components.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fgraphs.net%252F21st-century-classroom-components.html%3B2385%3B1124

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8 thoughts on “Improving as a Teacher: A Reflection and Projection

  1. mattcarey85

    You are right about teachers needing to upgrade their tools of the newest generation of students. 20th century teaching and technology is not the way of the future. 21st century teachers, 21st century skills. Go Rams.

  2. I agree with your assessment that teachers have to be prepared for the modern classroom especially coming to Korea. When I was teaching at a high school in Canada, the school I was teaching at had very outdated resources, the age of the overhead projector. When I came to Korea, my classroom had a brand new white board. Quite the difference, so I see your point here.
    Todd

  3. I agree with you generally. BUT: I have seen some technophobe teachers who really manage to get through to millennials somehow. I’ve also seen hyper technological teachers who crash and burn. But I’ve never seen technology make a teacher WORSE. I think it generally opens doors, and seldom closes them. But there I don’t think there are any characteristics of a good teacher from when I was in school (I don’t remember many to be honest) that have become obsolete. Having been at a 1:1 school for a few years, I don’t know if I could ever teach in a school again where every student isn’t somehow connected. So I guess it can say it has made ME better. I don’t know what it says that I’d be so much worse off without it. (Ben Steigner)

    1. I completely agree that technology does not make or break a good teacher. When I mentioned characteristics of our own past teachers I had in mind more their teaching methodologies, not their ability to helps students learn. I myself am guilty of thinking “Well, books-and-blackboard-only were good enough for me. They will be good enough for my students, too.” But it isn’t. Kids today aren’t the same as we were. We teach more than information, we also teach (21st century) skills.

      Thanks for pointing that out, though. It’s always interesting to hear about your experiences.

  4. Dani

    Hi Erika!
    While I agree that our lessons should be across the board on multiple technology platforms, it makes me nervous to have to manage so many different accounts and services. I have to ask myself, “Would it be better to focus on a few primary programs per year so that you don’t spend most of your time teaching kids how to use the technology rather than your primary purpose for your class?”

    1. That is why depending who your audience is will influence which tool to use. Many popular media are able to link multiple accounts on different platforms and update simultaneously.

      It is something to think about when branching out, though. Thank you!

  5. Great post Erika; nice looking blog too.
    I feel that the more platforms a teacher knows how to use, the better suited they will be at finding the one that works the best.
    The problem I face is how to translate this technological know-how to Korean students who don’t speak English sufficiently. It’s hard enough for native speakers to use this technology…

  6. I agree with you that as educators our teaching methodology should be addressing the needs of the 21st century learner in our classrooms, as we’ve been learning. Unfortunately the days of just using a chalkboard, white board, and/or paper handouts has become antiquated – no longer adequate for the Information Age classroom. So, continually developing new digital proficiencies as educators seems to be tantamount as we progress into the future. The challenge seems to be to remain current on trends in digitizing the classroom, while also, implementing them effectively. Not always an easy task. We’ve seen many examples of poorly used mutimedia in the classroom. As Ben and others have already mentioned, technology use in the classroom is more often than not, beneficial. But, those few dramatically poor examples illustrate where it can be detrimental and terribly distracting, if not properly implemented.

    Anyway, your blog is impressive and definitely a good example of how to begin digitizing your teaching portfolio to establish a credible digital footprint online. Nicely done.

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