21st Century Learning, All Posts, Collaboration, Instructional Technology, Professional Development, Student Engagement, Web 2.0

Future-Ready Teachers

Rachel Porter
QTL Senior Instructional Specialist

Recently a colleague gave me a piece of paper with what looks like a paper doll with a backpack on it. This paper doll student is covered with little text boxes containing attributes like ‘literate consumer of media’, ‘multi-lingual’, ‘capable technology user’, ‘critical thinker’, ‘strong team contributor’, and on and on…17 in all. She explained that the image represented the characteristics a present-day kindergartner should possess by the time they graduate from high school. Hmmm…interesting.

I immediately asked myself, “Do I possess these 17 characteristics?” Probably not. Maybe half…or a third. And then I had a further thought – Do most teachers possess all, or half of these? And then I thought back to the kindergartner, or the fourth or fifth grader. Might some students already possess more of these characteristics than their teachers? And, if so, are WE, as educators, more likely to advance these students or set them back?

One could feel thoroughly discouraged by these prospects, but I had a hopeful thought: I may only be 5 or 6 of these things, but a colleague of mine has at least another five, and I know several teachers that have these 4 or 5 others. If we work together (which would automatically satisfy another 3 or 4 of the attributes) I think we could cover everything on the list and successfully support our 21st century learners.

Thinking realistically– in order to truly work together, educators will have to make the time where there is none and put in the energy when they don’t have any left. However, as impossible as this seems, it sounds more doable than trying to tackle 21st century skills one teacher at a time.

  • Strong Team Contributor
  • Science Savvy
  • Efficient Problem Solver
  • Critical Thinker
  • Financially Literate Citizen
  • Literate Consumer of Media
  • Curious Researcher
  • Capable Technology User
  • Creative/Innovative Thinker
  • Proficient Reader
  • Effective Communicator
  • Self-Directed Responsible Worker
  • Relationship Builder
  • Knowledgeable Global Citizen
  • Health-focused Life Learner
  • Multi Lingual

Although several searches for the original paper doll image have proved unsuccessful, you can view the list in its original context at: http://www.ncpublicschools.org/sbe_meetings/0608/approvedmin0608.pdf .

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About QTL

The Centers for Quality Teaching and Learning expands and supports high quality teaching and effective, supportive leadership. QTL Processes bring together technology, teamwork, student data and research-based instruction to create more engaging lesson design for greater student achievement.

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