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Years ago an eye doctor told me I was near-sighted. After wearing the eyewear he prescribed, I had to agree. If I want to know what’s going on ten yards away, I better wear them. I’m not sure why this has bothered me all these years. I don’t like being labeled with a “vision” problem. Last night, while grading my junior English class’ essays online, I realized that I have the kind of vision that really matters.
High school juniors are a unique breed. They are full of eagerness for their future. They are also full of questions, complaints, worries, conflict, and obsessions. All of this gives me so much to work with. I love to help them iron out a path for themselves. These youngsters are like my own children. I want them to achieve more they they dream. I want to plant ideas in their heads about their capabilities that even they can’t see. I want to show them that the questions, complaints, worries, conflict and obsessions serve great purposes in life and help us find our way. I want these high school juniors to see what I see. They are truly unique individuals with special gifts designed to make our world better.
21st Century teachers are a unique breed. They are full of eagerness for their student’s futures. They work hard to provide them with the skill base necessary to compete in our global environment. They realize the importance of students mastering new technologies and creating purposeful work products. A 21st Century teacher understands why today’s students need opportunities for collaboration, investigation, and analysis. They are truly unique individuals with special gifts designed to make our world better.
Mix high school juniors with a 21st Century teacher and you might just have something amazing. It’s not enough to care for your students. It’s not enough to push them toward their potential. We must have a destination in mind for them. I know where my students must go. I’m working on doing the best job I can to get them there. And who knows? One day I might get a new diagnosis and learn I’m not near-sighted after all.