The Future of Teaching: Why Teachers Need to Be Lifelong Learners Too

The Future of Teaching: Why Teachers Need to Be Lifelong Learners Too

With new knowledge and technological advancements emerging constantly, it is essential for teachers to be lifelong learners. Gone are the days when teachers taught the same material year after year without ever updating their knowledge or pedagogical approaches. Nowadays, those who are considered capable and effective teachers have several important characteristics. The Kentucky Department of Education developed a list of Characteristics of Highly Effective Teaching and Learning (CHETL) and outlined that these characteristics include a knowledge of content, instructional rigor, and instructional relevance, among others. In order to provide their students with the best possible education, teachers need to be able to provide this through continuous learning and growth throughout their careers.

Teacher-driven action for an evolving teaching landscape

The teaching landscape is experiencing significant transformations, demanding proactive measures by educators. This is because traditional teaching methods once considered the cornerstone of education, are being increasingly supplemented — and, in many cases, replaced — by innovative approaches. The student demographic is also shifting, with more diversity in factors like race, ethnicity, and gender now present in classrooms.

As such, teachers must adapt and embrace the integration of technology, promote personalized and student-centered learning, foster inclusivity, and prepare students for the demands of the 21st century. By taking action, teachers ensure that educational experiences remain relevant, engaging, and meaningful for students. Below are some of the ways in which teachers can continue learning and adapting, both to enhance their teaching profession and to empower students to reach their full potential.

Staying up-to-date with new information

Primarily, teachers need to be lifelong learners in order to stay current with new knowledge and developments in their fields. In fact, a study from the journal Teaching and Teacher Education found that teachers must constantly improve their knowledge and not settle for only what they acquired at the time they graduated. This is because as new research and discoveries are made, the information that educators possess becomes outdated.

Personal development is very important for educators, as it improves knowledge and skills in order to facilitate individual, school-wide, and district-wide improvements for the purpose of increasing student achievement and/or improving student engagement. Actively engaging in professional development opportunities, such as participating in lesson studies, attending conferences, or pursuing higher education, ensures teachers that they are incorporating the most up-to-date information into their lessons. This not only benefits their students by providing them with accurate and relevant information but also enhances their understanding of their own field.

Upskilling their capabilities

As a teacher in today’s rapidly changing landscape, constantly working to refine their skills is a valuable and crucial trait. By always looking to upskill their capabilities, teachers can stay in the loop on the latest practices in their field to enhance their effectiveness in the classroom, better meet the diverse needs of their students, and foster innovation and creativity.

Taking up courses that teach in-demand practical technological skills such as coding and UX design can help even general teachers improve their instructional techniques. Gamification, simulators, interactive whiteboards, and virtual or augmented realities are just some of the newer technologies that teachers can learn and incorporate into their classrooms. By doing this, they can better understand the modern world and how to continue learning and adapting to it, all while better preparing their own students for these modern challenges.

Adapting to changing student needs

Being lifelong learners also helps teachers adapt to the changing needs of students. While the field of education itself is changing, so are student demographics. Race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic background, and special needs are only some of the ways in which students differ from one another. In addition, students nowadays seek educational experiences that prepare them for the future rather than just a degree. All these factors combined make the typical one-size-fits-all type of education inefficient for teaching.

One essential way teachers can adapt is by modifying their teaching strategies to accommodate different learning styles. They should employ various instructional techniques like visual aids, group work, and technological resources to cater to this diversity. Investing time in professional development programs and training would also be helpful, as these can provide educators with multicultural education, cultural competence, and strategies for teaching diverse populations. All these are constantly changing, which is why it is important that educators don’t settle with their current knowledge and continue striving to be lifelong learners.

Article written by Amber Thompson, Exclusively for Educators of America

Happy 2019! The Year of Building Hope

As the clock hit midnight and 2018 faded as quickly as it came in, the horizon of 2019 emerged – open and enriched with opportunity. Sure, this sounds incredibly optimistic but it should be. Every new year brings nonprofit organizations a feeling of fresh inspiration, energy, and perception. So why should any organization cast doubt on a year so early on?

The Logo for Educators of America’s Building Hope Project

At Educators of America, we don’t have resolutions – we have intentions. A new year means new intentions for us and our largest intention this year is Building Hope. Instilling the spirit of hope and positivity within an individual’s mind can change the long-term course of their lives and their community. Encouraging a community to view challenges with an attitude that is full of resolve, grit, and resourcefulness combined with the knowledge to empower others; not only does it build hope, but it builds opportunities. And in 2019, this is what Educators of America is intending to do.

For those who are unfamiliar with Building Hope, it is our flagship international capacity building project that is taking us to the Southern African nation of Namibia.

The Building Hope Project has been in the works since its conception in April of 2017. It’s coordination, logistics, curriculum development, M&E procedures, and of course, fundraising hasn’t been an entirely smooth process but the most valuable work worth doing always includes obstacles and some measures of hardship. We have welcomed this obstacles with a smile and have continued to press on knowing well that the teachers, students, and community members who are a part of this project are holding us accountable, and vice versa.

With six months left until the Building Hope Project commences, we are still in the fundraising driver seat. Our cohort is organized, the members are putting the finishing touches on their curriculum, the M&E is finalized, and the lodging has been confirmed; we are 99% near completion. The remaining 1% falls into the ever evasive monetary aspect.

So we are asking you, and you, and your company, to help us reach 100%. Donations to Building Hope Project are indeed tax-deductible and what better way to kickoff 2019 knowing that you’re taking part in Building Hope for a community in Namibia.

Learn more about Building Hope today!

Educators of America Clothing Collection Drive for Building Hope

As we begin our descent into the holiday season, the decorations come up, the travel plans are made, and the Black Friday shopping itinerary is developed. The everyday hustle and bustle of life is compounded with holiday plans, gift checklists, work get-togethers, and figuring out if you or one of your siblings is going to host one of the holidays this year. Fingers are crossed you stepped up to the plate last year and are unbound this fall and winter.

Educators of America Clothing Collection Drive

For Educators of America, the holiday season is a time where all hands are on deck. From Giving Tuesday to Fundraising Events to organizing our Educator of the Year event, not a moment’s time is wasted. But we wanted to take a brief instance to acknowledge the Clothing Collection Drive that will begin on Monday, November 19th and end on December 17.

The Clothing Collection Drive is an integral part of supporting Educators of America’s Building Hope project. The Building Hope project is our mission to provide support, capacity building workshops, and resources to a school in an awfully deserving community within Namibia. The community and school have identified their areas of need and by partnering with the local school, Educators of America are able to assist and work together with teachers, staff, and community members to develop long-term and sustainable solutions to the challenges they face.

The Power of Education

Educators of America believes that the power of high quality education can uplift a community, a region, and a nation. It can bring hope. It can bring prosperity. It can positively change lives for generations.

Contribute to building hope, changing lives, and improving the chance of prosperity for students by participating in the Educators of America Clothing Collection Drive from Nov. 19 – Dec. 17.

We will be accepting gently-used clothing, linens, jewelry, shoes, and accessories such as belts, purses, and scarves.

So, when you’re rummaging through the closet, attic, or crawlspace trying to find those pesky ornaments, tree lights or table runner, and stumble upon your seasonal clothes that you keep telling yourself you’re going to donate, remember, Educators of America Clothing Collection Drive.

Thank you in advance for your donation and please contact us today for details on clothing pick up/drop off.