Teachers Changing the Way We Read, Write, Think, and Live
Presently the education system is dipping their toes into the white waters of personalization and individualization in education for students and teachers. It’s a fast moving current, as our society is constantly changing, but hanging on to standardized education will only hold back what could be an amazing ride.
Personalization of Education
Will Richardson discusses the personalization of education for both students and teachers in his blog entry, “Personalizing Education for Teachers, Too”. A teacher’s role, Richardson maintains, is to “help [students] find what they love to do more than anything else and then support them in their learning endeavors that surround this topic”(Richardson 9). So, how do educators personalize education while fulfilling the state’s standardized requirements?
Choice Based Learning
One option is choice based learning, giving students the opportunity to make decisions that can implement their own interests into the classroom. Objectives of daily learning as well as full unit objectives in the ELA classroom do not have to require one general and standardized text; it can be individualized through CHOICE. Students have a range of reading and understanding abilities as well as interests; it is up for teachers to allow children to explore what they are passionate or curious about. Another type of choice based learning is allowing students to present information in different mediums, such as in writing, orally, through video, through audio, in a PowerPoint, in a set of images, etc. This gives students the opportunity to explore technological tools available to them for exhibiting subject material or projects.
Teachers Need Personalization TOO
Richardson focuses on the issue that teachers’ professional development reflects the same kind of standardized as the public education system: “So much professional development is throwing everyone in a room and having them learn the same stuff.” Educators are not only teachers, but also model learners, but where is their individualization?
One step in the right direction is incorporation of annual goals for teachers’ individual needs. A goal may pinpoint a weakness, then step-by-step work through it to be a stronger and more effective teacher. This also opens the opportunity for a teacher to implement their interests or passions. An English teacher whom has a passion for creative writing and has always wanted a way to share student’s creative writing, parents, and the community, may create a goal to make a public blog for the class or grade level to publish creative writing pieces by students for the public to read. This project develops education with digital technology as well as connects to parents and the outside community. Combining these factors motivates students to work harder and take pride in their writing because it is publicly viewed.
In conclusion, it is time for educators as well as professional development to make the leap into customizing learning to push all learners to their fullest knowledge potential. The workplace isn’t standardized, why should education be?