It is an exciting and scary time to be in education. New legislation in Michigan (and across the country) is changing the landscape of the “stable” profession of education and introducing uncertainty to the job. In many ways this is an ominous sign of the potential end of education as we know it. This may not be an altogether bad thing however. Schools, as they are currently operated, serve a dying manufacturing industry without enough jobs to meet the supply of young workers available. Re-thinking education is of paramount importance to the future success of our society.
It is difficult for me to think about the future of education and be certain of anything. The career that I prepared for in college is an endangered species and it is quickly dying away to the sculpting influence of technology. Of great importance to the profession of education now is the ability to evolve with the ever-changing needs of society and its children. Statically teaching our students in the way that we learned (a practice I am guilty of too often) is not in the best interest of their education or our jobs. In fact, teaching students in that way is potentially doing them an injustice. I am confident that my success or failure as an educator will be measured by my ability to recognize the changing landscape around me and constantly adapt to it.
A new mindset is necessary if I want to approach my career in a way that puts students first. That mindset recognizes that I am not an educator during school hours only, but in every moment of every day. I must be cognizant of the research and information available to me and make an effort to actively engage in my development. After all, education at its core is about preparing children for their futures. If the future is uncertain and ever-changing then it would be irresponsible of schools to continue the same practices that were designed for a different purpose.