Teacher 2.0: seven rules of a progressive teacher


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What will the teacher of the future be like? Founder of Geek Teachers Maria Plotkina on why the main quality of a teacher will continue to be the ability to navigate an ever-changing world

Geek Teachers is an educational project whose main goal is to help teachers master new educational technologies and digital tools. Among the project’s initiatives are educational festivals Geek Teachers Fest, courses “School of Projects” and “School of Speakers,” the show “Cabinet for Pumping,” as well as master classes on new technologies in education.

When you try to imagine what a typical lesson in the school of the future will look like, your imagination draws virtual reality helmets, a projection of a teacher in the form of a hologram, or robots from the Star Wars film series.

It seems that the teacher of the future will perfectly know what Big Data is, easily manage the “smart” space and receive calls on his wristwatch. There is a great temptation to give our teacher the characteristic features of the most daring heroes of science fiction.

But we should not forget that the main qualities of a teacher will still concern a person and his ability to navigate a huge information field.

Below are seven rules that teachers should adhere to in order to keep up with the times. So, the teacher of the future…

1. Consciously uses technology

Technologies are familiar to him and do not cause fear. He doesn’t feel the stress of having to reinstall the system on his laptop or clean it of computer viruses. He knows what cloud technologies are and can use them in his life – both work and personal. He knows how to install programs on his phone and understands how to use them to make his own life easier.

A teacher who only uses his phone for WhatsApp and simple games cannot speak critically about the Internet and mobile devices in the classroom. The rule here is: study, then criticize.

2. Takes care of your health and finds time to relax

“I went to work sick and almost fainted. I don’t have the right to be sick at home, I need to check notebooks, fill out a journal, and also be on time for the Unified State Examination commission.”

Can you imagine a typical teacher uttering a similar phrase? It is not typical for the teacher of the future.

If a person goes to work sick, this does not mean that he is doing a good job. On the contrary, he wastes his physical and emotional resources, forgets about his own health, and, of course, puts his children and colleagues at risk of infection.

Is it really fruitful and interesting to conduct lessons in a state of acute lack of sleep or a temperature of forty degrees? It seems not. It is impossible to achieve good health without maintaining the right balance between work and rest.

The teacher of the future knows how to relax: outside the school walls, he spends time with loved ones, does not forget about family dinners, goes on a picnic with friends, knows about the latest film releases and high-profile theater premieres.

Such a teacher remembers that accumulated fatigue leads to burnout, and knows different ways to restore vitality. For some, this method will be watching “viral” videos on Youtube, and for others, going to a pizzeria with friends, and here you cannot blame yourself for procrastination and wasting time.

3. Is interested in something other than work.

The following follows from the previous point: the teacher of the future has a hobby. In his free time, he bakes cakes or goes camping, writes fictional stories, or plays computer games. Any of them helps both to develop and to relax and switch.

Freeing up time for your favorite activities is not as difficult as it seems. It is enough to use technologies that make a teacher’s life easier. For example, use applications to automatically check tests or dictate an answer to work via voice message.

If a teacher spends less time on routine, he has more energy to develop quests and team assignments, introduce new lesson formats and home exercises, and develop his own skills and competencies.

Alexey Minchenko, geography teacher

Besides work, I have several hobbies, which I discovered, including when I became a teacher. And these hobbies help to earn authority among schoolchildren. For example, how many teachers do you know who do paddle boarding and are ready to paddle board along the Neva in December?

I also love console games: immersing yourself in another world, you can experience emotions that are not typical for you in everyday life, build your own state or become a bandit in the Wild West.

Also, at the end of the semester, my class and I organize a dance marathon in Just dance (this is an interactive game where you need to repeat the movements of the dancer).

4. Develops “soft skills”

The teacher of the future understands the importance of knowledge of his subject, perseverance and perseverance. But he must also have teamwork skills and control emotions. It is no longer possible to do without communication in the modern world, and work at school means continuous communication: with students and parents, colleagues and administration.

Do you want to get a new position? You need to impress the employer. Do you need a team for your own project? Without proper communication, even the best idea will fail. To receive a grant or other financial support, it is important to correctly and clearly describe your idea.

In addition, the teacher of the future:

Listens to the opinions of students and colleagues. By questioning someone else’s idea, our hero not only refutes it, but argues for his position or offers alternative solutions.
Does not judge others for their actions. He understands that each person has his own reasons for doing this or that action.
Doesn’t judge students for having pink hair, a pierced nose, or a tattoo. Experimenting with appearance is a personal decision for each person, and the teacher should not interfere with it.

5. Knows his rights

There is often a sad practice in schools – the administration asks the teacher to attend the Unified State Exam for free, hold an event after the end of the working day, go to work on their day off, or take an extra club. Often a teacher cannot go on sick leave, leave for family matters, or even take a day off due to a sudden change in work schedule or fear of judgment from colleagues.

Such situations can occur due to the fact that teachers do not read employment contracts, do not know their rights, and do not critically evaluate the words of the administration.

The teacher of the future carefully studies all documentation, protects his rights – independently or with the help of lawyers, thinks critically and always questions any authoritative opinion. He also knows where to get the necessary information – be it specialized groups on social networks, online consultations or specialized articles.

6. Financially literate

The educator of the future understands how important financial literacy is. He is critical of unnecessary banking offers, does not fall for the tricks of scammers, knows where his money goes and how loans and mortgages work. He understands what investing is and how to choose profitable cashback.

And, most importantly, he conveys his knowledge to his students – he explains why it is not a shame to talk about money, and uses his example to show how to protect yourself and your property.

7. Knows how to make money

If the salary leaves much to be desired, the teacher of the future finds alternative forms of income. Developing an online course, organizing a conference, maintaining your own blog, writing articles, filming lectures on computer literacy, or creating a popular science club—there can be dozens or hundreds of options.

The teacher of the future is not afraid of money and understands that there is no shame in receiving adequate remuneration for the work done. Our hero doesn’t spend his nights putting together other people’s presentations, forgetting about sleep and hoping for simple social approval.

He clearly understands that he is wasting his own leisure time, and asks for it not only to be treated with respect, but also to be paid.

Timur Guev, teacher of mathematics and computer science (New School)

It is extremely difficult for a person who is passionate about his business to take money for it, and this is a fact. It is in this regard that many artists and performers hire special people who sell the talent and abilities of their charges absolutely impartially. Teachers, unfortunately, are deprived of such opportunities.

The understanding that a teacher can earn a decent living did not come to me right away. It took about five years. You work for “thank you”, and it seems to you that this is the norm. You do not refuse requests from friends and colleagues.

But at some point you begin to understand that with this approach your development stops because you lack resources: time, money, rest, in the end. You are slowly starting to burn out.

So who is he, the teacher of the future?

Summarizing all of the above, it is worth noting that the teacher of the future is simply a progressive and modern person, because the mentioned traits and skills should be characteristic of each of us today. The teacher of the future is not about state educational standards, passing the next certification, artificial intelligence or voice control. It’s about the skills that will allow him to benefit from all these processes.


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