Random Thoughts

If I were the teacher

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As another school year finishes up here in the Northern Hemisphere I find myself, like many educators, reflecting on this past school year. As we reflect we start to think about what we would do different if we had to do it all over again and luckily for educators we get that opportunity. We get to continually improve our trade, continually test out new ideas, new ways of doing things and see how they work.

Google created this little video of sound bites from students talking about how they would change the classroom if they were the teacher.

As I watch this video and listen to these students what I hear is that they want to have more control over their learning. Take the technology piece out of it for a second and what I hear is “I want to learn my way” and “I want to do things that excite me”. Technology just allows those things to happen easier than ever in the classroom.

So as I reflect and think about the year to come (I’m no longer in a classroom but I do substitute from time to time). I want to think about what these kids and millions like them are telling us about education and then come up with a list of how I want to teach next year.

If I were the teacher:

  • Every day, every student would feel special.
  • I wouldn’t teach from a lesson plan, I would make the whole day up as I go.
  • I would ask students what they wanted to learn about and find a way to make the standards fit their passion not their passion fit the standards.
  • I would have a conversation with students about how they want to be assessed.
  • I would give them the skills that unleash the power of the Internet so that they can learn anything, anytime in anyway possible.
  • I would give every students a voice in the world.
  • I would let my students know that I’m human and have bad days too.
  • I would make it a goal to ask more questions than give answers daily.
  • I would invite the world into our classroom and introduce our classroom to the world.
  • We would create and share something publicly daily.
  • We would all learn together; from each other and with each other.

What is your list….you probably are a teacher so as you reflect back on this year, on a career, or just what are you thinking about for next year what would you do if you were a teacher?

I started blogging in 2005 and found it such a powerful way to reflect and share my thinking about technology, this generation, and how we prepare students for their future not our past.


  1. I am a teacher. Today I realized I never did post my lesson plans for myself and my TAs to follow. My students and I began our today discussing everything from rollercoasters and jellyfish, to graduation and weed whackers. We also compared our boo boos, and each notes ones we have, the purpose of a scan, and how a scab is like a knight’s shield. My students are 5-year preschoolers with disabilities.
    Teaching no longer works. Facilitating learning is the only way to inspire young minds, and in fact TEACH them how to teach themselves.
    My role as an educator is to provide safety, support, guidance and materials and students have what they need from you. Children are natural learners. We just help guide that process, while differentiating activities to meet each student’s unique needs.
    Unfortunately, today’s education model is the same as it ever was, demonstrating with irony that even former students themselves (who are in positions to make change), succumb to the ways of assessing and maintains these antiquated education models.

    • Jeff Utecht Reply

      Very well said…..why is it we feel like it’s OK to run a class this why when the students are 5 and not when they are 15?

  2. Ashley Wright Reply

    I wanted to become a teacher but could not. But happy with where I am today. I know some teachers and their teaching methods. The points you have mentioned above are wonderful. Yes, If I was also a teacher then I would definitely allow students to learn what they want. Today no one ask to students what they want to learn. There is no freedom for them in fact they must have flexibility to learn.

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