There have been many big shifts in education, but I think the biggest shift is how we look at the student-teacher relationship. The idea that the teacher should be in the front of the room talking and that the students should be in their seats listening and copying notes that teachers either write on the board or put up on slides should be accepted as no longer relevant.
Teaching is conversation with the kids, not lecturing. It’s many, many meaningful discussions where the kids are engaged and actively participate (any time you can get them to do so). Teaching, like life, is also a bit messy and has to be adapted to each kid in your room. By talking with my students instead of talking to them, I’ve found that I have a lot more success. You foster a culture of trust, learning, and creativity. You foster a culture where you make things together and you learn things together. This was not necessarily the way I was taught to teach initially but this is the style I’ve adopted because it works!
I hope that all teachers are teaching this way and that we teach new teachers who are entering the profession to teach this way. This will make teaching harder because there is no script for something like this. You have to start with a plan and then you have to react to the kids in front of you. My views on this are the same since I started taking this course; in fact, the course has reinforced my beliefs in this area.
In my classroom I use technology to connect with my students, connect them to each other, and engage in many conversations and discussions each and every day. If we aren’t having a conversation with our students, whose voices will they be listening to instead of ours?