The article, “The Deconstruction of the K-12 Teacher” posted in The Atlantic, on 25 March 2015 shares Michael Godsey’s predictions of what a classroom will look like in 5-10 years. There will be a giant computer screen at the front of the class, one “super teacher” being streamed to teach the lesson, students interacting globally with other students, and the teacher is now a classroom monitor or tech. In the changing world, if you want to become a teacher, be a”super teacher”, the person that is teaching on educational videos, producing the educational videos, creating the lesson plans on webpages, or facilitating in the room. No longer are teachers required to have the same personal skills that were required ten years ago.
Godsey doesn’t like just saying, “that the role of the teacher is shifting.” He wants to provide more vision, details. Teachers are not obligated to be context experts but room facilitators. So will the same characteristics of a teacher be needed? Gary Borich, in his textbook Effective Teaching Methods claims that the current
five key behaviors for effective teaching are: 1. lesson clarity, 2. instructional variety, 3. teacher task orientation, 4. engagement in the learning process, and 5. student success rate. But by going to a global classroom, and multiple persons being involved in teaching, individual strengths can be enhance; the video presenter ensures lesson clarity where as the room facilitator motives students to engage. Teaching positions may become more specialized not by subject matter but by presentation style.
The global classroom changes who is considered a teacher. I know wonderful people who are good at planning/organizing but are terrible presenters, planners could build the lesson plans. Currently, there are excellent teachers who are uncomfortable on camera but an actor or expert can present written information. Salman Khan did not have a teachers degree when he started Khan academy, he is highly educated with 3 degrees (Mathematics, Electrical Engineer, Computer Science) and a MBA. Looking through the staff biographies of other Khan Academy staff, only a couple had teaching degrees, the others were subject experts ranging from BS/BA degrees to PhD. As the structure of the classroom changes so will the teacher. What was once considered a one-person-job may become team teaching: the person planning the lessons, the person presenting the information, and the person monitoring the classrooms.
Global teaching is beneficial to teachers today. Godsey stated that, “A dozen years ago, I proudly worked for about 20 hours to create a lesson plan that taught poetic meter… ” demonstrates how much effort and time teachers were investing into quality teaching for one day. But time has become precious, individuals do not need to create alone. Sharing or borrowing ideas for lesson plans that are already developed and effective are helping teaching and making learning more exciting.
What ever the future job situation is for teachers, the profession will continue to be important to student’s and crucial to society’s development.