More teachers today are providing opportunities for their students to connect and learn in powerful ways. There is an increasing focus on collaboration, competency-based learning, use of open resources, project-based learning, and learning environments are shifting to support these new opportunities. These shifts are accelerated by access to technology that has transformed how we learn and interact with one another.
Effective teachers for all classrooms? It’s time for teacherpreneurs
Education conversations around the globe are focused on how to recruit, evaluate, and develop effective teachers. And for good reason. A steady drip of empirical evidence has shown that teachers are the most crucial in-school factor in student learning.
But in many cases education policy leaders have fixated on firing bad teachers and recruiting better ones. They have paid far less attention to spreading the expertise of the many effective teachers already teaching—or to providing them with opportunities to lead without leaving their classrooms and profession.
Enter the teacherpreneur—who teaches students regularly but has the time, space, and reward to incubate and execute his or her own ideas. Imagine a public school teacher who has the respect (and income potential) of an endowed chair at a research university and whose pedagogical and policy expertise drives innovative, collaborative projects that spread effective teaching practices.
There are at least six sound reasons for this bold brand of teacher leadership:
Researchers have proven that students learn more when their teachers collaborate in deep and authentic ways; Principals alone cannot address demands of 21st-century learning and accountability; Top-performing nations invest in teachers as leaders; The most effective teacher evaluation systems are driven by master teachers; Teachers trust their teaching colleagues more than anyone else to help them improve their practice; and Large percentages of teachers are interested in leading without leaving the classroom.
And while the internet offers a plethora of free content, there are times when it’s worth it to pay a little extra, Holden said. Those times could include when materials are done exceptionally well, when a resource is very unique, when an educator finds things he or she will use more than one time, or when it would cost more time to find exactly what an educator is searching for.
“As a teacher, you know there are not enough hours in the day for you to do everything you need to do,” Holden said. “Anything that can save time is worth my money.”
Slide presentation for a teacher workshop at English Teachers' Day on 30 November 2016 at the University College of Teacher Education in Vienna, Austria. Participants can test digital tools and scenarios and can see how they can integrate technology in their teaching to support student learning.
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