I have been meaning to post something here for weeks! All my recent teaching inspiration has been so… old school. And old school inspiration deserves special mention on a site devoted to 21st century learning, right? I have found inspiration recently in a book written in 1847. A MATH textbook from 1847, in fact. This gem, recently republished, is a color-illustrated version of Euclid’s Elements, without the algebra notation. It’s genius. Our school library purchased a copy, and I showed it to my students as an example of how geometry is connected to Truth, Beauty, and Usefulness simultaneously. The introduction by the author was particularly inspiring – in 1847 he was advocating for differentiated instruction, constructivism in mathematics, and for supporting the math education of girls. I wonder what he would think of our classrooms today.
I have also found myself inspired by watching my son’s basketball coaches, or by talking with my almost-graduates about their future plans. One common theme in all these areas is the focus on the individual and on relationships. 21st century learning may utilize plenty of technology, but to me it is about teaching to the individual, forming a relationship with each student, and guiding them on a part of their unique journey. 21st century learning is not one-size-fits-all. Our technology means it doesn’t have to be that way anymore, and I hope to continue harnessing that powerful trait to the benefit of my future students.
For your viewing pleasure, here is a video of my final reflection. It has been great working with all of you this year and I hope to continue to hear about your own adventures in the future!