Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Every tool needs a master craftsperson

Effective teachers transform the lives of learners.  This is a painfully obvious statement.  Many have written about the attributes of an effective teacher and many will continue to weigh in on the discourse. 
Given the recent attention that “21st century learning” and “personalized learning” is receiving in the popular media and the personal excitement that I have felt over the topic, I have been left to wonder……before computers and the internet, effective teachers “personalized” learning for students and were zealously passionate about helping students learn and make meaning of their learning. 
Recently I had my bathroom retiled.  As I watched the master tradesman do his craft, I noticed that, despite his reliance on certain tools, it was his skill and precision that made the project come together!
I am writing this as a reminder to myself: every tool needs an effective and capable user to take full advantage of the wonders of the tool. 
Todays “networked teachers” must take full advantage of the tools of the day – it is our professional obligation to do so.   Effective teachers understand this reality.  More importantly, the effective teacher is rooted in the belief that every child can learn, that they (the teacher) are responsible for igniting their students’ passion for learning and that the healthy relationships they foster matter.  
Figuring it out and invite your comments……


  1. I completely agree... after all, the master craftsman must still decide which tool best serves his (or her) needs. If we are to be master educators, we should know what 21st c. tools exist AND we should evaluate their efficacy in order to use them purposefully...

  2. Definitely. While one still needs equipment (tiles, to go along with your bathroom retiling image), good use of equipment will almost always trump blindly throwing money at the goal (or poor skill with the equipment).