Reading Adult Education and Technology, I came across a list that the author had gotten from Vicki Davis at Cool Cat Teacher. There were 20 questions in the list, mostly relating to the use of technology by teachers and students. There was one question that I found especially interesting:
19. Have you changed anything significant about ALL of the courses you are teaching THIS YEAR?
I have always wondered how a teacher could just do the same thing over and over again every year. I had teachers like that in high school back in the dark ages, and I have seen teachers like that recently. But I don’t get it. Even if you teach the same classes over and over again (Especially if you teach the same classes over and over again!), your students and your classes are never exactly the same from one year to the next. They have different needs and different interests. Why would a teacher not want to tap into those differences each year?
Another interesting question was this one:
14. Is more than 50% of your content relevant “to life?”
As an adult educator, I would like to think that everything that goes on in my class will help students get through life. I wonder, though, if that is true. It probably is true in some long-term existential way, but I am not so sure my students would agree if I were to ask them.
Teaching is not an easy job. If we are to do it well, we must consider the needs of our students, their interests and abilities, and their reasons for studying. We must reflect on our own practice and continue to learn ourselves so we can improve what it is we do and how we do it. The Internet offers teachers a chance to learn and to reflect. All we have to do is make a little effort.