6 min Read
Dear Future Teachers…Simple Tools to Get Started
November 23, 2015
6 min Read
November 23, 2015
I’ve been reading up on the Enhanced Teacher Education Program
that began here this school year and I would like to share some
highlights as these changes will be incredibly beneficial for both
future teachers as well as future students. Later in the post I’ll share
some simple ways to incorporate technology into existing lessons.
From the website:
The enhanced teacher education program started September 2015. Here’s what you need to know.
Why it’s needed
Based on research of newly certified teachers over the past 10 years, and an extensive review of teacher qualifications, the Ontario College of Teachers
recommended significant changes to initial teacher education programs
in Ontario. As part of that comprehensive review of teacher
qualifications, the College recommended a longer initial teacher
Consequently, Ontario’s Ministry of
Education, working in partnership with the College, announced plans to
lengthen the duration of the program to give future teachers more
practical experience and greater exposure to teaching methods that will
help teachers support diverse student needs.
Prospective teachers will spend more
time working with the Ontario curriculum, studying classroom management
and learning how to use research data and new technology. They will also
benefit from an increased emphasis on supporting students with special
learning needs and those from diverse communities.
I am incredibly thrilled to see a
focus on curriculum, management and technology. I think we can wrap
these terms into the “pedagogy” category and I wonder how classrooms
management strategies will change at faculties. I am especially curious
as to what new strategies might be used regarding devices in kids hands.
Classroom management has changed
significantly for me personally over the years. I’ve had to adjust from
“off and away” to “technology centres” to “BYOD” (bring your own device) and finally now 1:1 tablets and laptops. What I have noticed is how well engaged students act versus disengaged students.
I’ve come to learn that program determines behaviour and I now question
compliance and defiance versus engagement and content creation.
I also wonder if there will be a
struggle for prospective teachers in the short term. These folks are
coming out of more traditional settings and being placed in digital
assignments and expected to teach engaging lessons. As time progresses
this will diminish but the next few years of student teachers certainly
have their work cut out for them. I suppose that isn’t a bad thing.
After all, we are lifelong learners. Either way, it is an exciting time
to be a teacher and an even more exciting time to be a student!
Here are a few simple ways I have incorporated technology into existing lessons. I hope you find them useful.
I have really just scraped the
surface with these examples. Technology has a way of making lessons
limitless and personal for all learners. Perhaps best of all, technology
gives all students a voice. Technology allows our quietest students an
opportunity to make incredible noise. Technology allows reluctant
sharers an opportunity to share ideas without being put on the spot.
I think the biggest hurdle with
technology is fear. I encourage you to take the leap. Jump in head
first. Be a co-learner with your class. I assure you the return is worth
Congratulations to our current and
future prospective teachers. With the right tools, you can change the
world for all of your students. But don’t forget that what works for me
may not work for you as we are unique individuals. Also, what works for
you may not work for your students.
Perhaps my biggest learning curve has been to offer students choice. The “one size fits all” model need not apply.
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