Life as a 21st century teacher is hard. It's hard to find the resources you need. It's hard to get every student access. What's the hardest thing to find though? I think the answer to that is finding the administrator who really gets it.
Education is in a transition. Educators coming out of college are digital natives who have grown up with the internet. Soon, they will be the first class that grew up with things like the Ipod. Most administrators working today are digital immigrants. Many don't even acknowledge the importance of a 21st century education, and those that do don't really understand true integration. How can these two polar opposites co-exist? How can a 21st century educator be seen as a resource, and not a hinderance?
The answer to the first question is easy. First, ALL administrators should do everything they can to support and provide for 21st century educators whether they understand the practice or not. They have to get over the fact that the traditional classroom is dying and this new age student can not be taught the same way that they were or that they did. If an administrator does not understand, seek out the people that do. I can speak from experience that most tech nerds want to bring others over to our dark side. An administrator may not understand everything that is happening, but at least they will understand that technology is a great way to engage, differentiate, and provide a quality education for every student. We need to remember that our job is to prepare students for the future, and that is one filled with technology and technology related jobs.
Administrators also need to seek out their technology stars and use them as much as possible. Every school should have a technology committee made up of 21st century teachers that make the technology decisions in the school. From this bunch, you can organize professional development to bring others along. That could include professional development meant specifically from the the administrative team. If an administrative team is not using 21st century teachers to expand the scope of the school, that school will just fall further and further behind.
Really what it comes down to is that 21st century teachers have to really look for a great fit, and if it is not in their current school they need to find one where it is. Personally, I have had two administrators that have encouraged me and pushed me to become the best 21st century teacher I can be. I have also had administrative staffs who could care less, and even look at my classroom with increased skepticism. You know who the great administrators were? The ones who pushed me.
3/28/2023 09:30:32 am
That could include professional development meant specifically from the the administrative team. Thank you, amazing post!
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