This list was inspired by my recent experience of teaching a lesson in a room that I was a student in 25 years ago. The thought, “Wow, things have changed!” popped into my head and I couldn't stop thinking about why. Obviously we are now living in the information age, but I wanted to dig deeper than that so this list intentionally ignores technology. This is what I came up with, but I would love to hear what teachers from all generations think about this topic and what you would add to the list.
· Children’s and Young Adult Literature. Sure, we know and love the classics, but today’s novels and picture books often tackle some serious social issues of the day as well as introduce readers to historical events.
· Pace. There is much more to learn and the length of the school day and year has remained relatively unchanged, as a result we are constantly moving.
· Accountability. This is much more than a buzz word. For students it means taking ownership of their learning and for teacher this means staying current.
· Risk Taking. Students and teachers are much more willing to take risks and not measure the success based on a final outcome but rather learn from the experience.
· Behavior Strategies. Educators are being more proactive in their approach to discipline and less reactive. We still have a long way to go, but teachers are recognizing the long term effects that traditional consequences have on students.
· School Leadership. Gone are the days of the building manager, here are the days of instructional leaders who work collaboratively with their staffs.
· Learning Opportunities. Students are much more active and engaged with content, often producing information rather than consuming it.
· Expectations. Have you ever taught a lesson at a particular level and thought to yourself, “I didn't learn that till I was in (fill in the blank) grade!”
· Professional Development. Teachers are provided with more opportunity for professional growth than ever before. (ok, if I had to sneak technology in somewhere, this would be the place)
· Voice. It is very difficult for student’s to become invisible. Teachers are much more attuned to giving all learners the opportunity to express their thoughts, opinions, and ideas.