As an educator, as well as in any area in life, to be truly successful we must have a clear cut goal in which we are trying to achieve or strive for. I believe that every teacher, every good teacher, does have a goal of some kind coming into each year, as well as an encompassing goal that is being reached throughout the year. My fear however is that the goals we are striving to reach may be the wrong ones completely. It reminds me of a person who is taking a long road trip. They have destination, a goal, and they have a plan in which to reach that destination. They have a map and guidelines in order to assist them in finding all the wonderful places they seek. Yet in all the driving and all the planning they seem to miss the true beauty of what the actual goal of a road trip is, to explore and see new things along the way!
Our teachers today continue to have a focus and much of it has to do with what the district or school is forcing them to do. Too many teachers use the "Test" that the state provides as the ultimate standard on which to base their teaching, and therefore they "teach to the test." (After reading this article I was saddened to see that this continues to go on http://bit.ly/5hC5q4)
When will "teaching to the test" end and true learning and teaching begin?
Times have truly changed as demonstrated here: http://ff.im/-deZ9V. It is so crazy to think that after only 10 years it is like we are living in a completely different world. Our technology has advanced one hundred fold and continues to do so everyday! What will our world be like 10 years from now? If we continue to "teach to the test" than our students will be great test takers, however they will not be able to function in society or in the future world that is ahead for them. Most of the jobs they will seek do not even exist yet, so how can we as teachers prepare them for what we do not know? That is a difficult task, but if we teach them to think, create, and set goals than they will be able to achieve just about anything they put their minds to.
What should our goal be?
I think that depends on the teacher, however I do not believe that our goal should be based on funding or old fashioned ideals. I believe our goal should be to train our students in a way that will make them successful in the world they will enter, to teach them to think outside the box, to help them utilize their true potential and embrace the technological minds they possess, and to provide opportunities for them to explore and understand that the sky is the limit for them, all they have to do is take the initiative to grab it!
It is an exciting world we live in and I am so happy to be living in it!