Why do we have to treat teachers like kids? There is a discussion going on in Twitter about getting teachers to use technology. We have to provide mentors, we have to model, we have to encourage, we have to provide an environment that supports mistakes, we have to encourage them to use the kids, we have to encourage it’s use…Seriously folks!
Around where I live a couple hundred years ago there were farmers everywhere. I am sitting where sheep once grazed. As the 19th Century progressed farming methods changed. Some farmers experimented and used the new methods their neighbors were using. Some read the new journals and books that were being published and used the new methods in a trial and error method. Still others simply experimented on their own and developed new implements and methods on their own. You know what happened to all the rest that refused to change? They disappeared. They had to give up farming because their old methods and outdated crops simply could not turn a profit. It is still happening around me with farms. There are many successful farms, they have embraced new technology but more importantly they have anticipated the needs of their local market and are producing what that market wants and needs. Many small farms are opening in my state. They are being run by a different type of farmer who looks to the future, who learns constantly, who embraces the advantage that technology can give, who uses new marketing tools, who provide their customers with new and unique items, who change with the needs of their customers, farmers who don’t have to be told to change in order to survive–they just get it. They go out and find mentors, work on other folks farms with roles models, read and study new research, and enter the business knowing that they are going to make mistakes and in order to survive they will have to learn and change from them.
Maybe instead of spending so much time cajoling teachers into using technology we should just stop and let nature take its course. Maybe we should just let them disappear. My big ol’ guess is that the same people we are complaining about have problems much bigger than they just don’t integrate tech. Maybe we should just let evolution take its course and they will go extinct and be replaced by a leaner meaner breed of teachers who just “get it” and focus our attention on them. Focus our attention on changing hiring practices. Focus our attention on preservice teachers. What if everyone who wants change became a cooperating teacher and worked with student teachers? What if everyone leading PD volunteered to go into a college class?
Seriously folks, why should we spend so much time changing stubborn teachers. Let them go extinct.
PS-I believe this post represents the first time I have used the word cajole
PSS-This post represents the views of Paul’s alter-ego, the one he would like to be somedays when he is frustrated, not the one that represents him every day at school. While Paul’s alter-ego would like those ol’ stubborn coots to go extinct, Paul’s other ego will continue to help out and offer PD as much as he can. As a matter of fact he has submitted submissions for four workshops just in the last week alone. He believes that even flocks of Dodos should be given a second chance for survival.
PSS-You don’t need tech to be a powerful teacher