"If you’re a teacher, you have placed yourself in the most enviable, challenging, fulfilling role possible in the 21st century: You are responsible for co-creating a future that no one can imagine, and helping an untested generation of youth navigate unknown waters."
Link to the article:
Markham, Thom. "Redefining Teachers with a 21st Century Education ‘Story’." MindShift. KQED News, 11 Feb. 2015. Web. 23 Nov. 2015.
In Thom Markham’s article “Redefining Teachers with a 21st Century Education Story,” Markham addresses the complex issues teachers face today as they must navigate through a system in which creativity and innovation are replaced with “a stagnant system designed to broadcast standardized information.” Markham compares schools today to his definition of the world’s top performing organizations, and claims that schools lack the best qualities that make up these organizations. Within these companies, Markham describes a rich blend of “culture, work, and engagement,” giving employees joy and passion as well as a sense of purpose that brings out their best qualities. The education systems today do not promote these ideals, but they should. Markham explores the idea that teaching should create a story, and we have the opportunity to create a meaningful story for our students.
I found Markham’s article really inspiration. While it's easy to get caught up in the frustrating politics of having to meet standards, teach to mandated tests, and navigate the stresses imposed on teachers everyday, Markham's article explores the exciting opportunity we teachers are given. Markham explains, “Tapping the deepest energies of teachers, or any employees, requires a connection with big, meaningful themes that promise a significant, positive effect on the world.” I love the idea of promising a significant and positive effect on the world, and bringing this into one’s classroom environment. In the two 11th grade English classrooms I teach today, my cooperating teacher has given me the opportunity to create the lesson plans for the last three weeks of our semester. She is giving me the freedom to teach any subject I choose, and I have been putting a lot of thought into what I should do with the students. We have been reading a lot of American literature for the past few months, and I have found that many students have often asked what the relevance of the texts are to their lives today. I want the unit I create to clearly relate to my students lives, without me having to explain the relationship. I am therefore going to expose students to some current global issues we face today, and have them explore their role and responsibility regarding these issues. Students will end the unit in a collaborative based project in which they explore a global issue of their choice, such as deforestation, pollution, global sustainment issues, over use of natural resources, etc., and research their role in the matter and solutions to the issue. I am really excited to start the unit with my students and would love to hear anyone’s ideas or suggestions for my environmental unit. This unit will be my start in promoting Markham’s ideal of “promising a significant, and positive effect on the world.”