As an Innovation Specialist, often teachers feel like I want to see something with bells and whistles or a new activity that uses the latest technology. While I believe technology can enhance learning and provide more opportunities for students to collaborate and communicate, technology alone isn’t what will create an ideal learning environment. We must have a positive classroom climate, a culture that has been created and is encouraged daily. Do our students feel comfortable taking risks? Are they willing to challenge ideas after thinking critically about them? Do they have opportunities to demonstrate learning in creative ways?
This quote was one I remember a mentor of mine sharing early on in my teaching career. He stood in front of a group of new teachers and reminded us of how important our attitude would be in creating a positive classroom culture. It doesn’t matter the age of the learners or the content area, our attitude directly influences the climate. I was reminded of this today as I visited two high school classrooms. The energy and passion of these teachers was clear. The relationships they had built with their students was obvious. It was evident by the way they knew students’ personalities, their interests, and how to encourage them. Students were willing to collaborate, share and learn from one another.
A teacher’s attitude was powerful long before 1:1 environments and it will continue to be true regardless of the technology initiative.