I know my students will be ready for their future because…
…I was. When you progress through your teacher education, you hear warnings like, “you teach just like you were taught.” In my case, I respond, “I certainly hope so.” I was not taught the techniques of individual tools in my education. In other words, we didn’t spend much time on learning the mechanics for the sake of learning mechanics. We learned mechanics in the process of solving problems. Of course, we’re talking relatively intuitive tools–pencils/pens, protractors, compasses, calculators, etc. But, I never took a course devoted to any one or all of those tools. By treating computers and web technologies as though our students actually need a specialized course in them, we are simply pacifying our own inadequacies in those areas. Our students don’t need a computer class any more than I needed a protractor class.
My teachers instead taught me to be curious, to explore and explain, to adventure and try new things. My teachers taught me never to be afraid of making mistakes, afraid of being wrong, afraid of being rejected. My teachers taught me that our futures are so wide open and unforeseeable that we write and control our own destinies.
[pullquote align=”left|center|right” textalign=”left|center|right” width=”30%”]Our students don’t need a computer class any more than I needed a protractor class.[/pullquote]My students will be ready for their future, not because I have taught them how to make a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation, but because I have taught them to explore and be curious. Since I don’t know their future, it is impossible for me to properly equip them with knowledge of the tools they will need, because I don’t know what those are. Instead, I can only equip them with the confidence to try things and solve problems when there are no clear and obvious paths to the truth. As Warlick (2009) states, “If learning becomes the clear aim of literacy, … our students will come to embrace a learning lifestyle,” (p. 160-161).