The Nuts & Bolts of 21st Century Teaching


The Nuts & Bolts of 21st Century Teaching blog was an inspiring look into the excitement and uneasiness that comes from moving from a teacher directed teaching method to a collaborative one.Shelley Wright’s honesty and in-the-moment blogging gave unique glimpses into her thought process as the project moved from one step to the next.

A few moments in the article I really stopped and thought about what she was saying and the implications it had on the current teaching model and the one I hope to develop.

“Instead, by grade 10, my students have learned that if they wait long enough, they will be rescued. Not anymore.”

When the author said this I really thought about how many teachers current model of teaching does not entirely inspire students to really think something all the way through. In preparing students for real world experiences we need to encourage them to think independently. As a teacher it is so tempting to “rescue” our students to move the lesson forward. However, in doing so we are only hurting our student’s ability to really think for themselves and solve problems.

“I find that when my students struggle, I struggle as a teacher too, but differently. At times I’m not sure how to facilitate their learning. If I do it for them, they won’t develop the skill. It’s difficult to know how much to let them flail. I find my role, at this point, is to facilitate conversations they don’t know how to have. As I often do in this scenario, I turned to my personal learning network. I blogged about it.”

Great insight into the struggles of being a teacher and the solace she finds in hearing from her fellow bloggers. Maybe I can really use this blog to help me in my teaching career?! I guess I’m starting to see Professor Knight’s point. 🙂

“Then we got stuck. Researching was the easy part, knowing what to do with it is much more difficult.”

This was a very eye-opening problem for me. The current model of teaching really does not teach students the next step.  I can think of dozens of research projects I did during my education- but very few times I had to turn it into an actual product. And when a product was the next step, we were always given instructions on how to do so. If we want to teach our students real world skills, this is a great place to start. Putting their creativity to use your students could even take your lesson in an exciting direction you didn’t even imagine.  Giving your students this (guided) freedom can excite and interest learners who would otherwise not be as invested.

“Today was one of those days, when the excitement in my students is so palpable that I can’t believe I get paid to do this…I’m a co-learner with my students. It doesn’t get much better than this: Collaborating. Communicating. Connecting.”

I absolutely loved her excitement for this project by the end of her blog. The author really took the reader along for the ride. I felt invested in her project and I was so excited for her when she really felt she had succeeded. This blog really got me excited about integrating projects like this into my lessons. It is a great opportunity to engage and interest the students-and even yourself. There is little room for a “stale” lesson when it is modeled like this. When the children are at the wheel of the lesson- you never know what exciting places they will take you!

Picture 21


One thought on “The Nuts & Bolts of 21st Century Teaching

  1. The guided freedom is what our students need to take learning to another level. Planning for this is not easy and will take a lot of reflection and redesign, that might be detailed via a blog:)

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