To teach or not to teach, that is the question …

Hamlet said:

To be, or not to be, that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles
And by opposing end them.

My deliberate misquote is about teaching. It comes out of a conversation I’ve just had with my DP where he told me some of his past parents are complaining that their children are bored at high school because they’re being taught maths they learned 2 years ago while in his extension maths class.

That reminded me of a twitter conversation I had with someone about some of the ways I’ve been using ICT in my classroom and how high schools need to catch up. It also reminded me of a conversation about the ‘luddites’ – those who resist using new technology in their classrooms. It used to be that we should wait for them to catch up. Now the thought is that we should continue our ICT/e-learning journeys in spite of where they are at. Some will eventually catch up; some will never catch up.

The question therefore is this: do we as primary school teachers with a passion for e-learning, ICTs, unlearning & relearning, follow our passion or do we sit back and wait to see what the high schools are going to teach? At the moment it seems that in many areas primary school teachers are leading the charge.

Another question is this: do I, as a passionate advocate for integration of ICT into all areas of my teaching and learning within the classroom environment, go with ‘the flow’ or do I stick my neck out and go with my passion? What will happen to students in my class who go into a classroom next year where e-learning isn’t central?

My decision (well – not really mine alone – my DP and Principal support me) is to continue to lead the charge in e-learning – and hopefully enthuse and encourage others to join me (and it is happening).

I guess the next question is this: how do we draw others along with us on this fantastic e-learning journey? For it is a fantastic journey and it’s one where we’re not the only teachers – my students (7-9 years old) teach me things all the time – and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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