Teacher ‘Role’ Call
“…when teachers serve as classroom coaches, they promote creativity and innovation while empowering students to own their learning.” Neebe and Roberts, p.33
Coach. Facilitate. Empower. Guide. Direct. Inspire. Encourage. Point Out. Engage. Motivate.
Diana Neebe and Jen Roberts, in their book, Power Up: Making the Shift to 1:1 Teaching and Learning capture the essence of the real role I have always believed teachers need to assume in the classroom. As an instructor, I am not present to enable or keep my students dependent, but rather, to lead them to independence and skills to be life-long learners. Knowing HOW to find out information and understanding the process involved in acquiring information is vital to sustainability and self-sufficiency long after school has ceased being a part of students’ lives.
However, aligning with this philosophy, I possess a deep rooted fear surrounding the possible outcomes of 1:1 technology in the classroom. Young people today already maintain a tremendous amount of screen time. Additional school screen time could definitely compromise the quality of face to face social interactions and effective communication.
I believe in the importance of modeling and practicing “people skills”. Knowing the “rules” of conversation, (and reading body language), as well as how to participate in discussions appropriately, are critical skills that contribute to success as an adult. Conscious of one’s tone and eye contact during a discussion/conversation while posing a comment, compliment or asking a question, and then waiting one’s turn to speak are all practices that need to be exercised. With the advent of 1:1 technology in education, the quality of interpersonal interactions could deteriorate if teachers forget to perform this role. There needs to be a balance of screen time and “face time”!