Friday, December 4, 2009

Tools of the Trade

These are some of the tools of the teaching trade. Those 19th century tools with which I was equipped are missing (blackboards, overheads, chalkholders, pencils, etc.) Colleges of Education that do not prepare educators with these tools are doing them a disservice! I recently needed to interact with a group of preservice and inservice educators. The preservice educators had none of the tools except email, which is antiquated at best. I asked for Skype id's in order to form a group backchannel, out of sight of the students involved. As many will note, Skype is free. The preservice educators said they didn't have and would not download this free tool. That attitude is intolerable! Not because it put me out in any way, but because A) all preservice teachers should already have it and B) an unwilling to learn attitude is not conducive to great teaching. And it is great teachers we so desperately need.
Our kids need, not just deserve, but need a world-class education. If we teachers (all educators, both preservice and inservice) are not providing it we are wasting taxpayer dollars and flirting with national disaster. It is time to get serious people.
I was surprised and taken aback by the attitudes of these preservice teachers at a prestigious college of education. These are not freshman, but those who will be entering the field in the next couple of years. We better start doing something about this and quick!
If you are a professor of education at any college or university, please, please, please prepare your teachers for THEIR future teaching responsibilities. Require preservice teachers to have and to use the tools of the trade. If you don't know how, find someone on Twitter or the Classroom2.0 ning who does. If you don't know what these are - find out or retire. I do mean it. This is not the time to lolly gag and mince words. As a very wise person once said,

The only thing more expensive than education is ignorance

America cannot afford to pay this price.

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