Being a teacher in the 21st century is no walk in the park. Teachers’ skills are put to the test every single day when it comes to teaching Gen Z. In the past, the teaching-learning process was quite monotonous. However, due to the constant influence of the rapid progress in technology, many students worldwide are being exposed to a plethora of educational avenues and career options as a result. Therefore, this requires teachers in the 21st century to be well equipped with the knowledge and skills to provide support and assistance for their students.
In this article, we have curated a list of a few qualities and skills that teachers must have in order to teach in the 21st century:
- Digital gurus
When teachers are digital gurus, they can have blended learning strategies in the classroom. This increases the effectiveness of content delivery and engages students in a more comprehensive environment. For this, the teacher himself/herself must be tech savvy and ready to learn and explore innovative and creative ways of using technology for teaching.
When a teacher uses technology in a classroom, it implicitly inspires and motivates students to learn and develop their information technology skills. Thus, impacting the overall society at large.
- Adaptive workers
A smart 21st century teacher should be able to view each student as unique and create learning strategies to best suit their needs. This ensures that no child is left behind. The teacher must also adapt to their environment and enforce positivity while learning. Teachers can adopt and adapt various modes of teaching, providing students quality education.
They must also know how to adapt to the workplace environment and come up with solutions that benefit all.
- Champion collaborators
Teachers should not only collaborate with students on a daily basis, but also collaborate with other like minded educators. They may work on presentations together, blogs, YouTube channels etc. Through collaboration, ideas, information, knowledge and skills are enhanced. Materials and resources can be put to better use and many more opportunities may be made available.
- Innovative thinkers
Being an innovative thinker, plays an important role when it comes to teaching a classroom full of students. Teaching in the 21st century requires teachers to be creative while teaching. Lessons are now taught through song, dance, art and many other forms of learning. Teachers now take to apps like Tik Tok and YouTube to come up with fun ways to interact with their students and make learning more open ended. Even when it comes to classroom management, teachers have to think of out of the box solutions to deal with students’ discipline.
- Lifelong learners
Another very important skill and attitude that teachers must have is the desire to be lifelong learners. Each day poses a new challenge. Therefore, in order to deal with those challenges effectively, teachers must be continuously updated and open to new learning experiences. Ensuring the next generation can peacefully navigate an increasingly globalised society is no piece of cake. The challenge is endless and it rests on the shoulders of teachers across the globe. With great power comes great responsibility.
Teachers are the new influencers. The way we interact and behave in class affects our students. Thus, we need to be exemplary role models for our students. We can inspire our students to be kind and generous human beings. We need to push them on the track of sustainability. Teachers of the 21st century are undeniably dealing with new challenges, but it is to be noted that they are now more accountable for a student’s overall development, laying the foundation for lifelong progress.
The challenges in the 21st century continue to grow, but so have the resources and rewards, and with constant new updates in the education sector, the teaching scenario may only change for the better. It is your and my duty to keep evolving and adapting to the ever changing environment that we work in.
Author: This article is written by Elrica Menezes for Tech for Educators blog. She is a Google Certified Educator and teaches at Jamnabai Narsee International School, Mumbai.