Friday, November 30, 2012

Old Doesn't Equal Bad or Irrelevant

The above tweet from @JohnTSpencer during #edchat got me thinking, how many times do we throw the proverbial baby out with the bath water, simply because it is old?

Maybe it is because I am now an age that I once thought was old (over was right, time DOES fly when you are having fun!) ! I'm even a Grammy (see below)! So that makes me REALLY old!

 On more than one occasion during study tours at Zebra New Tech, our local high school, visitors would ask the students something to the tune of

"What qualities do the BEST teachers have" 

Student answers were always something like...

Sense of Humor
Not Boring
Like kids (This one always got me...apparently they have had teachers that they think don't! UGH)
Tough-but still nice
and...wait for it.........

Hmmm....I'm now 45 aka pushing I .....young? old?

Almost every time the kids said this, in the room was someone I admire greatly, he taught our boys, coached my husband in middle school, and as a colleague, I learn something from Dan McCarthy every single time we talk.  But he is....GASP....even older that I am! (sorry, Dan, but are OLD)

He is an also the early adopter of every new piece of technology that comes out, quickly figuring out how it can facilitate student learning, he does about a million 1:1 sessions with his fellow teachers trouble shooting or introducing technology, and once read Twilight over Christmas break just to keep up with what his students were reading! 

I, for one, think age is irrelevant, I've worked with teachers with 25+ years experience in the classroom who are inspirational life-long learners.  Who are always searching, digging, mining for ways to reach, engage,  inspire and connect with their students. (even if it means reading vampire books)

The first Montessori school opened in 1907, I would happily send that adorable baby girl in the above photo to a Montessori school!

The Reggio Emilio Approach is a bit younger, not appearing until after WWII but, would I send that sweet baby girl  to a school embracing this? YES!

Project Based Learning has its roots in Aristotle, Confucius, Dewey, and Piaget all pretty old dudes!

 Legos, building blocks, tinker toys, story telling, dolls, trucks, bubbles, playdough, and books...all kinda "old" or are they... classic? vintage? time-honored?

Perhaps we could all critically think, analyze, synthesize, know do what we want our kids to do and stop equating new with good and old with bad!


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