For the past 12 months I’ve been asking this question to teachers and school leaders in various forums:
What do teachers bring to the classroom that is still scarce now that we have Google, YouTube and Wikipedia?
As expected, I’ve received numerous answers to that question, and with a nod to ‘Family Feud‘, the top ten answers are on the board:
You’ll notice that “Providing Knowledge” is not on the list. Twenty years ago, knowledge was one of the most valuable things a teacher contributed to the learning experience of students. Now it doesn’t even make the top ten.
I think an equally valid question to ask is this: What can teachers bring to the classroom that not only still has value, but which has increasing value?
What can teachers bring to the classroom that has increasing value?
I’d be interested in your answers to that question. I have a few of my own, (which i’ll develop further in future posts.)
- Critical thinking.
- Honest and constructive feedback.
Here’s the point: You can cut the ‘Class-time Pie’ anyway you want. But if the largest slice is being given to standing at the front of the room disseminating a commodity of falling value, then less time can be devoted to really building a precious classroom experience for students.
Great thoughts on a complex subject.
This is awesome. Love that top 10, and I do think we need to think more about the “Relationships” point. When I made the career change to teaching an experienced teacher told me that relationships are everything – if you can build a good relationship with a student, learning will follow. Yet I sometimes think we allow fear to prevent us connecting, lest it be misinterpreted. I wrote something recently about connecting with students on facebook, which led me to your post on the same topic. You might find it interesting. http://lindamciver.wordpress.com/2014/11/22/are-we-afraid-of-connecting/
I guess there is good reason for people to fear – we do live in a cynical world. It’s sad though, because I agree with the points you wrote in your blog. Thanks for your comment and for pointing me to your blog, too.