Do You Teach or Do You Educate?
This video, made for teachers at Foothill College Krauss Center for Innovation in Los Altos, CA., deciphers between what makes an individual a teacher versus an educator. It starts off by asking, "are you a teacher?", and then gives many different versions of the definition 'teach'. Then, it asks, "or are you an educator?". Many inspirational words begin to pop up describing what an educator is. These sound so much better than the negative definitions of 'teach'. Educators are more than just teachers who are there to show and explain how to do something. To be an educator, one must be a mentor, a guide, an advisor, support, and much more. Educators are there to advise and show the way to their students. They also give intellectual, moral, and social instructions.
I do intend to educate rather than just teach my students. I became an education major because I truly want to make an impact in someone's life. I want to train students for the future in order to better our society. Today's students are not really learning anything at school because they have so many standardized tests that they are forced to take. So, rather than actually learning, they are simply memorizing only the material that is going to be on the next quarterly standardized test. However, once the tests have been completed, all of the material that the students crammed in their heads is now history, gone like they had never learned it.
I want this to change! I want students in my classroom actually learning and taking in what they observe and participate in themselves. I want my students to be active learners rather than passive. I think that the best way to learn something is by actually doing the task yourself. So, my students will be discovering many things on their own by actually doing them, instead of being spoon fed every step.
Tom Johnson's Don't Let Them Take the Pencils Home!
this blog post, Gertrude, with a prestigious sounding title: the School Curriculum Instructional Interventionist Academic Specialist, tells Mr. Johnson that he cannot continue to let his students take home pencils and paper. She says that an article has proven that students from low income neighborhoods have lower standardized test scores when they are allowed to take home paper and pencils because they use the pencils for entertainment purposes rather than learning. Mr. Johnson told her that he wants to change how his students see pencils and show them how they are really suppose to be used.
He started a parent pencil program, where the parents actually learn the skills that are being taught to the students. He explained ways that pencils can be used for learning to both the parents and the students. Gertrude said that the students are probably at home playing 'stupid' games like hangman or something with their pencils instead of learning. Mr. Johnson told her that he doesn't discourage them from playing hangman or other games and activities because regardless of if they can see it or not, the children are actually learning in some way.
I am definitely on Mr. Johnson's side of this argument. Who has ever thought that students taking home pencils and paper would be problematic?? I think that Mr. Johnson is using pencils as a metaphor for technology, really. Students often see computers, Ipods, and other media tools as sources for entertainment, but they can really be used for so much more. Computers are becoming so important in regards to class assignments and projects. Almost everything that a student has to do for school will involve the computer at least once before the assignment is complete.