Teacher’s Corner is a monthly newsletter from eNotes just for teachers. In it, experienced educator and eNotes contributor Susan Hurn shares her tips, tricks, and insight into the world of teaching. This month, she’s looking to the future of teaching with a skeptical eye. Check out this month’s Teacher’s Corner column below, or sign up to receive the complete newsletter in your inbox at eNotes.com.
Predictions about how students will be educated one day are intriguing, but a few of them are downright scary when you think of the implications. Some visions of education in the future seem really off-the-wall, but others are not hard to imagine, for better or worse, considering the continuing impact of technology in the classroom and how it has already changed instructional practices. Here are a few highlights from the prognosticators:
- Schools will consist of interlocking modular pods that can be added to or removed from a basic structure to adjust for the increase or decrease in a school’s population.
- Modular schools will be portable, easily moved from one location to another as the general population shifts geographically.
- Students will be micro-chipped to facilitate supervision and safety.
- Classes will be conducted with robots providing instruction.
- Traditional schools will cease to exist. Students will complete individual studies on computers at community centers open 24/7, working when it’s most convenient for them and communicating with teachers by voice mail.
- All field trips will be virtual, and students will attend virtual workshops conducted by recognized authorities in various fields.
- Hands-on learning will be phased out; students will interact solely with 3-D models, touching only computer keys.
- Computer keyboards will be phased out. Students will use hand and eye gestures, like playing games on a Wii, to control electronic tablets. Students will write with digi pens.
- Large multi-national companies will have an increasing influence on curriculums and school resources.
Teacher’s Corner is a monthly newsletter from eNotes just for teachers. In it, experienced educator and eNotes contributor Susan Hurn shares her tips, tricks, and insight into the world of teaching. Check out this month’s Teacher’s Corner column below, or sign up to receive the complete newsletter in your inbox at eNotes.com.
Recently over lunch, a dedicated career teacher told me that she could no longer advise anyone to go into teaching; the joy is gone, she said, with teachers now locked into regimented lesson plans and required to spend all their time chasing test scores. She also worried about what we’re doing to kids in the classroom—demanding more and more of them at younger and younger ages. There’s no time now to let them be kids, she said, or color outside the lines, if they get to color at all. It was a depressing lunch.
I drove home with a lot to think about, especially since I had encouraged my own daughter when she decided several years ago to change careers, earn a second college degree, and go into the classroom. Had I steered her wrong? Remembering our animated conversations after she began teaching, however, I don’t think so. Teaching may be different today—the demands greater and the stressors more intense, but it still engages the heart and the mind in ways unlike those of any other profession. No two days are alike, and every day is a fresh opportunity to achieve something glorious, even for one unforgettable moment.
Students aside—and that’s a big aside—it’s true that our profession is less respected in some quarters than it once was, for reasons that seem to be bound up in politics and publicity. If a teacher is arrested for some terrible offense in any part of the country, it becomes national news; a steady drumbeat of these stories erodes confidence, creating the impression that teachers somehow have degenerated into an immoral lot, not to be trusted. On the positive side, however, every time teachers risk their lives or lose them trying to protect their students, which seems to be happening more and more frequently, their actions make the news, too. Ask the parents of those students if teachers can be trusted.
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High school freshmen and sophomores will take a new version of the SAT in 2016. Here’s a run-down of what they can expect and how to prepare.
Last month, we covered in depth what you could expect from the new SAT coming in 2016 (in a post you can read here). But now that the changes to this 88 year-old exam are making the media rounds once more, we wanted to take a quick minute to recap the biggest adjustments, and hopefully provide some clarity in the process.
So, here are the 5 big changes to come to the SAT in two years’ time:
- No more SAT essay! The essay section will become optional
- No more “SAT words!” The test will quiz students on “relevant” words instead of obscure ones
- No more point deductions for incorrect answers! Which means no penalties for guessing
- Fewer questions! The test will shrink from 171 to 153 questions (52 in reading, 44 in writing and language and 57 in math)
- And lastly, the 1600-point system will return making the 2400-point test a mere blip in the radar for a select few
But before you jump out of your seat with joy, future high school junior, you should read our in-depth analysis of the changes and how they’ll affect your test-preparation here. Just because $5 SAT words are out, doesn’t mean you don’t need to learn strategy to handle unfamiliar vocabulary. AND just because the SAT essay will be optional does not mean you shouldn’t take it.
In essence, the SAT is going to look almost identical to the ACT, so the best way to prepare for these changes is to look into its counterpart. In fact, more and more colleges regard the ACT as equal to the SAT, though students tend to score better on the former than the latter. Which leads one to wonder, why are we still placing so much emphasis on the SAT? Our advice: take both and go with the test you’re better suited to.