Education, teaching, and schools globally have undergone massive changes that leave only glimpses of their humble beginnings of the previous decade. Whiteboards were replaced with projectors and interactive boards, whole schools were outfitted with Wifi coverage, and tests were conducted on Google Classroom. These changes are only scratching the surface.
Even in the last three years since I graduated, the teaching profession has changed so drastically. Students and teachers have become constantly connected with social media and instant messaging platforms, Youtube videos and dedicated learning platforms have grown in popularity, and data collection is more complex and in-depth than ever. Suddenly, the humble building of desks and chairs I once learned in has become this complex institute of experiences, discoveries, and opportunities that had only been dreamed of a few short years back. Applications have dominated over notebooks, Virtual Reality has made the unimaginable now a feast to the student’s eyes, coding is becoming a standard in all curriculums, and the innovations just keep expanding.
Coming from a little owl that dreams to be Owl from Winnie the Pooh, and is a big advocate for ed-tech, the teacher will always be the soul and heart of any school.
I understand that schools need to evolve to stay relevant, to nurture the generation and improve the quality of education with these complex apparatuses. Be that as it may, with the beginning of a new decade, we need to remember that schools serve a greater purpose than only training children skills and facts.
On average in the United States, students spend about 1000 of their 6000 waking hours in the year at school. With up to 12 hours for five consecutive days in the week in classes with their teachers, it would be a disservice to say that they don’t have an impact on a student’s personality and character. Technology at the end of the day can spark enthusiasm from students and garner their interest, but it wouldn’t be able to display the ethics and connect on a deep level. It can assist a student in getting to grasp complex concepts in maths, but it cannot substitute the words of encouragement and advice you would get when they feel like they have hit a roadblock.
In this complicated world that our students are subjected to, the need for teachers grows ever so important. The need for a paternalistic figure to aid students in the transition from childhood to young adults plays a crucial role.
As I write this and look back at my time with my teachers, it surprises me how so much of their advice and the experiences they shared stuck with me for so long.
Whether I understood it at the time or something I held on for whatever life had in store, it became a common occurrence for me to contact them and thank them for a specific talk or advice.
There’s a long list of reasons as to why teachers are important and play a vital role in building the foundation of every generation. It’s also vital that students have an older figure that they are comfortable with to help them in understanding their concerns. The human side of learning and growing.
‘The teacher will always be the soul and heart of any school’
Though for certain, it’s not expected for students to find all their teachers inspiring (at least in my case, a good majority of them made me want to skip classes). But, the minute they find that one teacher, it’s as though a completely different person emerges. Suddenly, students become engaged, they look forward to attending classes, and they have the desire to accept new challenges.
So let us begin the new decade with a salute to all teachers, young and old and thank them for all their efforts. May their guiding hands lead us to a brighter tomorrow.