Some call them ‘connected educators’ while other use the phrase ‘digital teacher’ and many prefer the term ’21st century teacher.’ Whatever terms you use to describe modern teachers, it’s important to know what the terms actually mean. There’s a fabulous wiki devoted to just this topic here which houses some incredible bits of information. It’s by Andrew Churches who has curated quite a treasure trove of useful information for any teacher looking to outline what he or she actually does as a modern educator.
See Also: The 10 Skills Modern Teachers Must Have
So what are the 8 characteristics of a 21st century teacher? Are they risk-takers, collaborators, and visionaries? Well, yes! Check out the image below to get a clearer picture.
So does this mean a 21st century teacher must embody every single one of these characteristics in order to be considered for the lofty and esteemed title? Not really. In my opinion, you should understand, internalize, and be able to exemplify any of these skills at any time. However, you don’t need to constantly be all of the characteristics. For example, you don’t need to constantly be Steve Jobs, Barack Obama, Sir Ken Robinson, a 4th grade student, and the Secretary of State all at once.
Man, that’d be exhausting.
What you do need to do, though, is be able to pull from experience and be a leader, a collaborator, a communicator at a moment’s notice. That’s what (to me) a 21st century teacher does. They adapt (hey that’s one of the characteristics above!) to their surroundings and can quickly figure out how to properly integrate something into their classroom. Whether it’s technology, some professional development, a flipped learning model, or something they learned at ISTE about Twitter, it’s all useful stuff.
The key is to be able to figure out how every single one of the new skills and tools works for you. If it doesn’t, then don’t force yourself into it. For example, you don’t have to flip your classroom if you know the students (or you) won’t get much out of it or the subject matter wouldn’t lend itself to flipping.
What other characteristics would you name? Are there any missing from this spider chart?