Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Why Aren't Teachers Interested in Learning?

I have noticed a trend in the technology workshops that I offer staff in my district:  if it's something that people feel they have to do, teachers will show up.  If it's something that they should do, the only people who sign up (with a few exceptions) are those who need the hours for recertification or for the extra pay.

Why is this?  If there is one thing that all teachers should believe in, it's modeling a desire to be a life long learner.  However, the biggest obstacle I face is what seems like a total lack of desire to do anything differently by the vast majority of teachers.  Most seem to want to be left alone until they retire-doing things the same way they did when they began teaching, the same way they were taught, and often the same way their parents were taught.

When you think about what has changed in just a generation, it's staggering.  It should be considered educational malpractice to continue preparing students for their future when we are actually preparing them for nothing more than our past.

I hear all kinds of "reasons" why attendance at trainings is so sparse.  People are busy.  I get it.  I was (and am) busy, too.  I still find time to keep up to date with the latest in 21st Century teaching and learning.  Why?  Because that's what students need.

The practices are outdated.  The vast majority of the way we spend our school day does nothing to prepare students for their futures.  Most will succeed despite their education, rather than because of it.

If you don't care about what your students need enough to continue learning, it's time you find another profession.  I don't want my kids, my future doctor, etc. to be in your class.


  1. You know what? I don't think kids need to learn any more about technology than I did when I was in school. I do continue to learn, just not about technology. I don't think it's that important. Maybe my head is in the sand, but it still feels like it's all facebook and not important for success in life. Kids will be fine. Leave me alone and let me teach my lessons. And no, I haven't changed them in the last few years. They are still good.

    1. That's unfortunate, because I'll bet the students in your class who are sleeping through your lessons would disagree.

    2. I suggest you take a look at this article and reconsider you opinion. If you still think technology is not important after reading it, you may want to reconsider your career. Below I have copied the most valid points. You may want to reconsider your career as it is based on your attitude. Teachers are role models and the way you have responded is far from professional.

      Many people believe that technology-enabled project learning is the ne plus ultra of classroom instruction. Learning through projects while equipped with technology tools allows students to be intellectually challenged while providing them with a realistic snapshot of what the modern office looks like. Through projects, students acquire and refine their analysis and problem-solving skills as they work individually and in teams to find, process, and synthesize information they've found online.

      The myriad resources of the online world also provide each classroom with more interesting, diverse, and current learning materials. The Web connects students to experts in the real world and provides numerous opportunities for expressing understanding through images, sound, and text.

      New tech tools for visualizing and modeling, especially in the sciences, offer students ways to experiment and observe phenomenon and to view results in graphic ways that aid in understanding. And, as an added benefit, with technology tools and a project-learning approach, students are more likely to stay engaged and on task, reducing behavioral problems in the classroom.

      Technology also changes the way teachers teach, offering educators effective ways to reach different types of learners and assess student understanding through multiple means. It also enhances the relationship between teacher and student. When technology is effectively integrated into subject areas, teachers grow into roles of adviser, content expert, and coach. Technology helps make teaching and learning more meaningful and fun. Return to our Technology Integration page to learn more.