What Does It Mean To Be A 21st Century Teacher?

At the beginning of the semester, I answered this same question. Reflecting back, I notice that many of my thoughts overlap each other, and I am drawing the same conclusions. It is very important for teachers to adjust to the 21st century way of teaching and learning.

One significant aspect with which 21st century teachers must come to terms: Learning is not just for students. Teachers must continually learn in order to become more and more experienced and proficient in their field of expertise. A specific area in which teachers must continually learn is technology. As classrooms start utilizing technologies, it is important that teachers are informed regarding how to properly employ and utilize them in order to promote student learning.

Another key component 21st century teachers need to master is innovation. Technology is an advantageous tool for teachers to use, however it should not be the focal point of the classroom, nor be the single contributor fostering student learning. A pivotal element of innovation in the classroom is forming lesson plans to fit each student’s individual learning styles. Ignacio ‘Nacho’ Estrada incorporates this idea in his quote,

“If a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn.”

Being a 21st century teacher means being adaptive, innovative, and open to continual learning. I believe that incorporating these facets inside of the classroom will cultivate student learning. Teachers must exhibit a positive learning environment for their students. I believe that student learning increases when they are engaged, and interested in the designated subjects. One of my favorite quotes, by Robert John Meehan, summarizes my overall attitude on teaching,

“Teachers who love teaching, teach children to love learning.”


One thought on “What Does It Mean To Be A 21st Century Teacher?

  1. Allison,

    These are some great final thoughts on what it means to be a teacher in the 21st century. I hope you will continue to explore how technology can be used to motivate students and facilitate student learning.


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