So, it’s been about one year since my last post. There are always a good reason for doing things, but in the end, they all come up as excuses. For the past year, I have been teaching in the classroom again after being an instructional technology coach for six years. It was daunting. I was sure that I could put into practice what I had been preaching for six years.
What I walked away with was something that has reminded me why I wrote my dissertation to begin with. Why does education insist that adding any technology to any classroom enhances the learning experience? The truth is, just as I found it in my research, it doesn’t. Technology in a classroom only amplifies the culture that is already in existence.
During my classroom teaching this past year, I was able to self analyze when some lessons worked and when others did not. Everytime I turned around, my analysis was simply reinforcing what I already knew. Every classroom has a duality built into it; behavior and cognition. It is a balancing act that they don’t reinforce enough of to beginning teachers. We disguise it as relationships and scaffolded learning. We use the term data and data-driven decision making. In the end, we are focusing on relationships and content. This duality is the problem.
Both parts are important. However, what most educators overlook is the intertwining of the two and how they both are part of the same equation. Educators who focus on relationships with their students tend to struggle with the content. Educators who focus on the rigor of the content, tend to struggle with the relationships of their students. A truly successful classroom is one where the relationship with the students gives rise to the internal motivation to find accountability with the rigor through the mentorship of the educator. That sounds very jargonistic and unrealistic to boot. However, I believe that I can explore the different aspects of this duality and explain how they merge together. I will be exploring these ideas in my future blogs so stay tuned.