Traditionally, teaching was a combination of providing information, parenting, and screening academically interested students from other students; it was an educational factory that sat peers through standardized classes and tests.
Teachers were informed what, when, and how to teach. They had to educate all students the same and not be held accountable if they didn’t learn. They were expected to teach in the same way as previous generations; deviations from traditional practices were discouraged by superiors or prohibited. So many teachers stood in front of the class teaching the same thing yearly but were greyed out and exhausted.
However, many teachers today are encouraged to adapt and embrace new practices that respect the art and science of learning. They understand that the essence of education is the close relationship between knowledgeable and caring adults and safe and motivated children. We understand that their most important role is to get to know each student as an individual to understand their needs, learning style, Digital Content, social and cultural background, interests and abilities.
This attention to personal qualities becomes increasingly important as America continues to become the most pluralistic nation on earth. Teachers must strive to connect with young people from many cultures, including those who may have dropped out or been expelled from education if they had been taught in traditional ways.