By Terra Tarango, President of SDE
I can learn just about anything on the internet. My daughter wanted to learn how to do the “meridona,” a fancy footwork soccer move, and I found a You Tube video in minutes. My other daughter is intent on knowing everything there is to know about Harry Potter. All the trivia she wants is at her fingertips. I simply wanted to know if Mumford and Sons was an Irish or an English band, and within seconds, I had my answer. So why do we need teachers?
Because the heart of learning is not information, it’s connection. My most meaningful memories from school are not when I learned the quadratic equation or even when I learned to read. The lessons I remember are those from a teacher who connected with me in a way that made learning meaningful. When my 10th grade English teacher told me my poem made her cry, and I could see that I genuinely moved her, it made me want to keep writing. When my 8th grade Algebra teacher told me it was ok to be good at Math even if it wasn’t cool for girls, it gave me a confidence (even if years later) to study subjects I thought were out of my reach.
So it’s true that technology can replace the information teachers have to share. But nothing can replace your commitment to your students, the emotional investment you make in them, and your unique contribution to their learning journey. What is it that you, and only you, bring to your classroom? What cannot be replaced? Do more of that.
P.S. I thought for sure Mumford and Sons was an Irish band, but I was wrong. London-based and English proud.