Given the penetration of technology into every human sphere, the 21st-century teacher has more challenges to face than be at the receiving end of benefits. Notwithstanding the fact that online learning or e-learning is the latest educational trend, this pattern of learning has its own flaws.
Educators who have the responsibility of teaching students in the best possible manner will have to face the below-mentioned problems. To make this explanation a bit more comprehensive, you can lay hands on the modern approaches to teaching in contrast to the age-old classroom coaching practices that were in vogue from times immemorial.
Every student is unique with a certain level of intelligence. His needs are so diverse from the rest of his class.
The Bygone Days: In this context, the primitive pattern was to assess and evaluate the performance of students. Teachers used to spend a great deal of time reporting the performance of the class to their guardians. After reporting, the faculties used to make certain adjustments to ensure that students learn better.
The Present Scenario: As a striking contrast, the modern day teachers operate differently. They tread the path of practicality by collecting data points from each and every student; individually. They sit down to identify, prioritize and evaluate the data of every student in real time.
Teachers of the 21st century face the need to bring in an element of precision to data collation. They should not only come up with the type of data that is significant to every student but also identify a path to obtain this data at regular intervals. Relevant data is the only instrument that will help the teachers of today to personalize their teaching patterns and monitor the progress of their classes.
The Bygone Days: Earlier, students used to appear for a written or an oral test and wait for their result. Grades in the form of alphabets or scores in the form of numbers came as barometers to evaluate their learning and recapitulation abilities.
The Present Scenario: Teachers of the modern age are ordained to design data sources and concepts that appeal to the visual senses of students. They are supposed to come up with a seamless pattern of revising curriculum alongside adopting relevant metrics that will assess the over-all performance of students. An additional challenge comes in the form of connecting better with students through “cognitive instructions”. Once this pattern of teaching is in place, modern teachers will steer clear by uncovering important trends, patterns and possibilities for betterment.
The Bygone Days: Bad behavior of students was always a concern to teachers. Classroom disobedience coupled with violent outbursts are not new to teachers. A barking student or a physically abusive one was always a threat to the entire class. As a teacher, the primitive ways to deal with such disturbing situation was to nip off fighting and bullying through a pre-defined set of rules and “classroom expectations”. Non-compliance would mean punishment.
The Present Scenario: Teachers of today are supposed to employ well-informed means and strategies to tame down the unruly behavior of students. They are supposed to spend time in analyzing and coordinating with students through classroom interactions. When teachers spend quality time with students through project-based learning patterns, they will be able to mobilize them and help them better interact with their peers. This challenge of soothing the nerves of a rebellious student will create a quiet learning environment for every student in class.
The Bygone Days: Students in the past learnt by rote. They weren’t lucky enough to learn the way they pleased. All that learning took place amidst the four walls of a classroom, without any connection with the external environment.
The Present Scenario: In modern times, teachers are supposed to be the catalysts to learning. They are expected to explain students on how to find a solution for the particular problem. Modern teachers are supposed to promote the concept of self-reflection, allowing students to come up with their own solutions to their varying needs. The 21st-century teachers should go the entire nine yards to evoke the curiosity of their students and this is possible only when they attach innovative learning techniques like digital classroom learning and flipped classroom sessions. This can be taxing to teachers who should get attuned to technological developments that are marking the field of education.
The Bygone Days: Earlier, educators were ordained to teach students about different subjects. They abstained themselves from interacting with the parents of students on a personal level. Primitive teachers simply did their job of completing lessons without sparing a thought about involving their parents in their progress. This created a major divide between students and parents who were on different platforms. Parents were groping in the dark about what their kid learned from school and their role in nurturing the hidden talents in their wards. Kids weren’t informed of the expectations their parents had on them.
The Present Scenario: All thanks to technology. It is now a matter of a tap on the mobile screen for a message of a teacher to reach the online community of parents. Teachers are also expected to mail parents about the strengths and weaknesses of their wards. In addition to establishing a constant connection with the parents of wards, teachers should engage with students after school hours. Initiating informal discussions between students can pave the way for a congenial learning environment that can help both parents and students.
The 21st century teachers through an open channel of communication are expected to help students with a sense of warmth and care, despite battling their own stress-related issues. This stress is majorly caused on account of high expectations coming from all sides; the parents, students and the school administration authorities to deliver high GPAs.
The Bygone Days: In the past, teachers were focused on completing the classwork along with attempts made to create a process of submitting assignments as homework.
The Present Scenario: Modern teachers have to juggle with multiple tools to provide a personalized teaching pattern to students. They need to delve deep into the interests of every student and come up with lesson plans and teaching guides that are in sync with their diverse needs and demands. Incorporating novel teaching strategies like flipped classrooms, teachers of the 21st-century should stay in good stead with technology as a promising tool for teaching.
The Bygone Days: In the past, teachers used to tread the path of “chalk and talk”. They used to spend close to 7 hours in classrooms and later participate in meetings to plan and grade students. Thus, the working day of a teacher does not come to a close by 3 pm. This running behind time leaves them with no scope to indulge in self-learning.
The Present Scenario: Time constraints are still a major challenge to modern teachers as well. Some lessons are long while some are short. How can we expect a teacher to deliver a concise lecture on a topic that is so vast, within a 60-minute timeframe? Modern- day teachers have to juggle with creating their class materials alongside planning in-house activities that the school has in place.
All in an attempt to get recognized as an efficient teacher not only from students but also from the teaching fraternity, it pays for teachers to be mindful of the above challenges. Once teachers are informed of the difficulties they will have to face, they will be better prepared to tackle them so as to not only organize their daily teaching routine but also help students learn better.