How have you embraced the evolving role of the educator?
What would you add or revise in the graphic shared in chapter 1?
While reading the first section of the book Learning Centered Innovation, I was a crazy underlining fool-- super excited about all “You- are- so- right Katie Martin!” moments. As I reflected on the changing role of the educator and then the concluding thoughts on chapter 1 the word that kept coming to mind was “advocate.”
I don’t think advocating is a new role for educators. Teachers have forever been advocates for their students. However, I do think that the idea of advocating is such a critical part of the educational vocation especially when we consider the entire learning community.
I love this, “As teachers, your greatest power comes from knowing your learners.” It reminded me of all the people around me who are learning and how I get to know them and give voice to what they need from the community.
Today, for example, I had to advocate for differentiated professional development for teachers who drive their own learning faster and farther than their peers. Often these are the educators who are treated like the gifted learners in the classroom and are asked to lead professional development. Clearly, “pulling a locomotive” can be a challenge and while it’s an honor to lead, it’s just as important to find places for these educators to be fed with rich learning opportunities that match their needs.
On a different day, I might find myself giving voice to the needs of a parent, a community member, or an administrator who needs support. Teachers are in unique positions sandwiched between educational stakeholders. While we have our own lens through which we view the community, we can also see the spectrum other points of view. It’s natural then that we become advocates within an amazingly dynamic community.
Which magnifies the last idea in the chapter - “As the role of the educator evolves, the human connection and guidance will become increasingly more - not less - important.”