On International Education day, in the middle of the Covid19 pandemic, in the early days of the digital revolution, and the imminence of virtual reality for everyday transactions….
Only teachers, I posit, will survive.
As educators, we have trained ourselves to work in carefully curated spaces away from the humdrum of real life. Ivory towers may be made of brick and stone, and may not even have physical structures any more, but they are still isolated from life as they pull us away from the business of learning. Schools too depend upon the classroom, a cloister to focus the mind on the learning progress we seek. We build these boxes of isolation. And then pile up these boxes in arrangements that we call an education system.
Our arrangements can topple. The pandemic shook some of them loose. Technology will shift a few more. More than anything else, it is us, our next generations that will demand learning boxes shaped around them – and that will change education systems.
The shape of our boxes will change – rooms, timetables, libraries, and all these structures will find new form. And then reform, often coming back to a version of the old. These will unsettle many of us in education, because our carefully curated stability will be upset.
There is one thing that will not change. Teachers. The need for. Good teaching. Engagement. Inspiration. Connect. Aspiration. Guided exploration. And mentoring for each student so that they find what works for each. Good teachers will survive.
Good teachers may find that the forms they use may change. Their administrative accountability will change. Their role definitions may change. But good teaching will always remain the same. It is teachers who are the magic sauce melding content, building connect and crafting progress.
In the middle of all of the upheavals ahead for education, only teachers will survive. And good teaching thrive.