Welby: Education coming back to life
This is the shift we have all been waiting for. The demise of a broken system. The shedding of old skin to make way for the new, stronger, more refined product — the evolution of public education.
This new hybrid system has challenged not only students, but everyone involved. We all knew education wasn’t sustainable and inequitable. We all knew that the high-quality human resources were not there, but now we have hit a turning point, and hopefully, we will never go back.
From an outsider’s perspective, this new hybrid system- that has been adopted by many schools across the country- can seem, for lack of a better term … ugly. But the benefits of this new system are being overlooked. New skills, talents, and out-of-the-box thinking is required, and it is what our children desperately need, because being a digital native does not mean digitally literate.
One benefit of this new system includes student accountability — teaching students to be in charge of their own learning and taking responsibility in a way that better prepares them for university life. Another major benefit from this hybrid system is the students have the freedom to adapt education to what works for them.
Students, as well as educators, have access to tools that aid student growth and foster their talents to the best of their abilities. The interweb is a vast solar system of knowledge that is available to be used as a vital instrument in education. Never in history has the potential of education been so great. So why are we so quick to go back to the past?
Of course, though, with any great change that comes within a society there will be roadblocks, bumps, hardships and challenges.
It’s difficult learning something new, but knowing how to learn is an essential and necessary skill. So it is understandable when students are struggling, parents are at a loss and educators are overwhelmed. How could it not be difficult when a shift so great happens so rapidly?
Therefore I propose we don’t give up on this new education system — the one that has been formed from the ashes of the world’s shift, but rather see it as a phoenix that has no limits. The old school skills, and learning are all still there, they are just wrapped up in a different presentation, and must be reached through a different portal.
Of course we will struggle. Of course we will stumble a bit, but this is the reform to education that has been so desperately needed to save our failing school systems. Smaller class sizes, more individualized education, more flexibility, more responsibility and personal growth.
As Toni Morrison once wrote, “Anything dead coming back to life hurts.”
The five-day-a-week, one-size-fits-all education plan has been dead for a while. Thank you to everyone (students included) who has been bringing it back to life.
Adriana Welby is a teacher at Battle Mountain High School who has been studying pedagogy for several years and received her masters in education from the University of Colorado.