When it comes to teaching creatively we use both the heart and the mind in equal measure. ..
Let's put some focus on strong teaching misconceptions. We know the world is full of great teachers. Making generalizations, assumptions, or misconceptions about teaching would be fruitless.
So let's focus on the profession itself and its changing nature. We are rethinking the teaching profession, and these are old teaching misconceptions that need to be turned around. Let's look at them differently and see how we can do just that.
1. Teaching belongs in the classroom.
Our global community demands that we reach beyond the confines of our traditional classroom and assume responsibility as digital citizens. The archetype of a teacher’s studio space still exists, but today we are re-imagining its structure. This comes through using online digital tools to make e-learning more personalized, comprehensive, and meaningful. Projects are increasingly community-centered as we strive to solve the world’s biggest problems.
We are harnessing the power of social media and tech-savvy young people to transform our learning environment from a stuffy classroom to a wider worldview. Teachers are able to run virtual classrooms for students in other countries through the use of video conferencing software, collaboration tools, and digital portfolios. Flipped learning also allows learning to be done outside of the classroom.
Look around you, at your home, your community, and our great planet. You're looking at the new classroom.
2. Success in school is necessary for success in life.
Not necessarily so, though a great formal education can help. Case in point: here’s a link to 15 Notable People Who Dropped Out of School. If you haven't seen it, you'll be amazed at the people who are on the list and why. The fact is these people had access to great resources, and that doesn’t just mean money. Temple Grandin, for example, had people who believed in her despite immense odds against her.
We’re talking about people that had others take a chance on them. They had an insatiable curiosity or drive, and several outlets for their creativity. These are the kinds of experiences we hope our students to have.
Now, does this make the teaching profession obsolete? Of course not; we can find ways to adapt to the changing revelations about student learning that we face every day. If you think about it, you teach and you enable your students so that eventually they won’t need you. Let’s take this idea of meaningful teaching out of the schools and into real life.
3. Teachers just teach.
Teachers are now beginning to see their role as facilitators of a student’s journey. Consider the fact that your best teachers don’t just teach. They delegate and plan, and they manage time and student resources. They trust their students to be creative. They rarely teach. They most certainly always lead.
As proponents of project-based learning, we know that by allowing students to take control of their learning, they internalize its lessons more deeply.
4. Teachers are always underpaid and overworked.
They don’t have to be. Freelance teachers who are stepping out into the digital horizon are able to set their own asking price. Parents of students from around the world are eager to be early adopters of teaching technology that allows for global virtual classrooms. Teachers don’t have to stay teachers of students. They can certainly inspire other teachers and support them.
Those that have left the profession need not do so disgruntled. Remember that some of the world’s leaders did much greater service to humanity after they left office.
Through flipped videos, teachers today are able to reproduce themselves exponentially. They do this by putting their lecture content into the hands of their students online, at home, when the students need it and however often they need it.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
Originally published Mar 17, 2019, updated September 19, 2021