After a night or two of listening to our faithful weathermen making sure all their listeners were prepared for the “BIG” storm, it was apparent that the key to survival is being prepared! Several key messages included the following:
- Teach your children where to go (help ease their fears)
- Take care of your pets (help ease their fears)
- Keep your phone charged in the event the electricity goes out
- Have enough bottled water for you and your family
Great advice for storms, but being prepared should also carry over to education, to your buildings and classrooms. If you took a photo of any classroom today (2016), would it look any differently than it did 10 years ago? 25 years ago? 50 years ago? For many, neither classrooms nor the instructional methods used look any different, but the world outside has dramatically changed for our students. Are you helping your students be prepared for what the world looks like not only today but also in the next 10 years? 25 years? 50 years into the future? How do educators prepare students for the changing times? All research indicates students need problem-solving skills (project-based learning), and they need to be able to collaborate with a team, using others' strengths to solve challenges. Are your students actively engaged in their own education, or are you the “sage on the stage?”
As you begin to close the year and reflect on your successes and weaknesses, will you be making changes for next year to better prepare your students, or will you take the easy way and do the same lessons you have done in the past? Will you be integrating more technology into your classroom? Will you be presenting challenges/problems for your students to solve based on the knowledge you have taught them? Have you spoken to local businesses or industry to discover what skills they look for in their employees?
Your care and preparation towards meeting these challenges only means your students have a better chance to being prepared for life in a changing world. Remember, we are here to help you address these challenges, so don't hesitate to reach out.