In Brookfield's The Skillful Teacher, he states "When we use any teaching approach, we need to be clear exactly what it's intended to achieve. This clarity should not be apparent just to us, it should also be apparently to students."
One thing I wholeheartedly admired about some of my favourite professors and instructors is their ability to connect the why we were in each class. What we were going to learn that day tied directly to the practical outcome of the class, which in the end was what we signed up to learn. This knowledge or way of thinking was going to make an impact, and we weren't there just filling seats or making attendance. What we were about to learn had a purpose.
I aim to do this with each class I have when I teach computer literacy. The specific skills we learn each class will develop different areas students need for their understanding. Whether it's formatting text in word processing, or learning the consequences of information privacy when creating a social media profile, each session will connect with the outcomes of the course. I want to help my students understand this.
In relation, this type of intent is needed in many situations in life. Many of us need to know that what we're doing is serving a purpose for us. There is always a why behind the why, behind the why. Sometimes it works out that it serves Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, and sometimes I just keep asking why.
Q: "Why am I at work?"
A: "Because I need money"
Q: "Why do I need money?"
A: "Because I need to purchase groceries, pay rent, and support my wife."
Q: "Why do I have to purchase groceries, pay rent, and support my wife?"
A: "Because I need food and shelter to survive, and my wife is everything to me."
My point is, we need to continually be reassured that what we're doing is not pointless, and that it serves purpose or intent.
We need to continually learn as we grow old, because so many things are changing. One main example is technology. New ways of interacting with people, information, and yourself are being thought of all the time. We will need to learn to adapt. There are new objects and materials created, and inspectors to inspect those objects and materials, and inspectors to inspect the inspectors (and so on).
The world is continually creating and shifting, and in turn we must learn to grow with it. We will meet more new people today than many people did just a hundred years ago. Learning their cultures, how to communicate with them, and how to be happy and grow with them is something we'll continue to learn for a long time.
Living a learning mindset will help us foster creativity and innovation, as we expand our minds to connect with more information. As a teacher, it will help me face new challenges, ideate towards innovation and new possibilities, and problem solve in a more creative manner.