Kids need to FAIL!
Kids need DEVICES!
Kids need to MAKE STUFF!
Kids need to CODE!
Kids need to BLOG!
Kids need PROJECT-BASED LEARNING!
Our kids need to do and learn a lot of things.
It's scary for teachers when they're bombarded with a wealth of ideas which certainly can add value to any student's educational experience, but perhaps the teacher isn't "there yet." This might be due to district/state mandates on what instruction needs to look like and how time must be spent, or the teacher's lack of knowledge/understanding of/experience with the ideas/concepts.
Kids need to be loved and cared for.
Their needs must be considered.
Beyond that, I think the most important thing a teacher can do is to be thoughtful about the classroom activities he plans.
Do the research. Get your hands dirty. Thoughtfully include new and varied learning opportunities into your daily plans. When at all possible, let kids take the reigns. Thoughtfully.
A classroom teacher doesn't have the time to incorporate several new methods and practices into his classroom in a single year. (Even though his Twitter feed is swamped with teachers proclaiming how the latest and greatest have revolutionized their classrooms. So he thinks- shouldn't I be doing that, too?)
He doesn't have the time.
There, I said it.
So we must choose to use our time in thoughtful ways. What will make the most impact on your students and their learning? Choose to invest your time learning more about that strategy and that idea and that concept. Try it with your students. Reflect, assess, reimagine, revisit, implement again, take action.
School leaders need to be thoughtful about what they're asking classroom teachers to do, and how, and when, and for how many minutes per day. School leaders, can't we back off, just a little? Can't we cherish the teacher as a professional who's capable of designing a day of learning filled with exploration and new opportunities? Can't we honor them with the gift of autonomy and freedom to explore?
We can do this, thoughtfully.