Tell me about your favorite teacher.
What role did your favorite teacher have in your own decision to become a teacher? In choosing the grade level or subject matter you teach?
What made your favorite teacher special? Why was he/she your favorite?
In what ways are you like or do you try to be like your favorite teacher?
photo credit: George Eastman House
I am currently taking two online professional development courses through a local school system. Both are book studies, and if you look in the sidebar, you can guess which two books. The interesting thing to me is that one group is active, dynamic, and interested in conversation about the book we are reading. Participants are posting resources. Participants are actually reading each other’s posts and providing feedback that instigates discussion. Interestingly enough, a large number of the participants are not currently teaching, but they are taking the course to keep their certificates current.
The other group does the bare minimum required. Many of the response posts are bland recapitulations of the poster’s points with a somewhat encouraging “I agree” stamped on. We’re reading a really interesting book, and the discussions are just mind-numbing. I think the majority of this group is in the classroom, too.
I really hope these teachers are not accepting the kind of work they are producing from their own students. On the other hand, part of me wants to say that if you aren’t willing to be a good student, it doesn’t make much sense to be a teacher. I think the best teachers genuinely like to learn. I know, I know. A lot of professional development is stupid. But these two online courses really aren’t! That’s just my opinion, I guess, and clearly the majority of the other participants don’t agree.
I find the dichotomy really interesting.
I remember some time ago, the Teacher Laptop Foundation (site is now defunct, it appears) was attempting to match registered teachers with a company who would be willing to provide teachers with free laptops. I wonder why the Teacher Laptop Foundation folded (or appears to have folded)?
I should think it would be a great benefit for computer companies to provide teachers with free laptops. First of all, I think it displays a commitment to helping teachers and influencing positive change in technology education. I think teachers with laptops would be encouraged to learn more about technology, which could lead to more technology integration in schools. More technology integration in schools can only be a good thing for computer companies, as they stand to benefit from increased sales.
Some schools and districts provide their teachers with laptops. My children attend Fulton Co., Georgia schools, and I know this district provides teachers with laptops. The laptops, I would assume, remain the property of the district, and should the teacher leave the district, I imagine he or she must return the laptop, but while the teacher is employed at the district, I think it’s great to have a computer that can travel.
My own school does provide each teacher with a desktop for use at school, and a very nice one at that. I also have a SMART Board attached to it, which enables me to do some truly great things with technology in my classroom. Frankly, for most of the teachers on my faculty, I believe the desktop is sufficient. My own laptop would be useful to me, however, because I would be able to plan activities with SMART software without having to move anything over using my flash drive. It’s fine for now, but it would be really nice if I didn’t have to do that.
When I Google relevant search terms (such as free laptop teachers education), I feel somewhat discouraged by the results. I wonder why, in an age when we have an initiative to provide laptops for children in developing nations, that we don’t have an initiative to provide teachers with laptops.