As an educator, I have come to realize the immense significance of continuously updating my knowledge and skills to provide the best learning experiences for my students. I am not only a dedicated teacher but also a lifelong learner. I specialize in teaching history, geography, global perspectives, and theory of knowledge, all of which require me to stay up-to-date with the latest advancements and discoveries in these fields.
I am currently pursuing a PhD in education, focusing my research on the intersection of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and design thinking. This academic journey has opened my eyes to the transformative power of innovative teaching methodologies that align with the pressing global challenges we face today.
Through this article I want to share my personal journey and connect with my fellow educators who understand the importance of staying relevant in the ever-evolving field of education. Just as our students rely on us to guide them through their learning journey, we too must embrace a lifelong learning mindset to nurture their intellectual growth effectively. This means acknowledging that we, as educators, are not the ultimate authority on everything but rather facilitators of knowledge, constantly seeking new insights and perspectives. By staying current, we can inspire our students to become independent learners, critical thinkers, and adaptable individuals capable of thriving in an unpredictable world.
I believe in the power of reading. The books I have found particularly insightful are Why Don’t Students Like School? by Daniel Willingham, Visible Learning and the Science of How We Learn by John Hattie and Gregory Yates, and Unleashing Great Teaching: The Secrets to the Most Effective Teacher Development by David Weston. These books delve into the psychology of learning, evidence-based teaching practices, and effective teacher development strategies. Reading educational literature has helped enhance my pedagogical prowess and embrace innovative ideas, such as including fundamental principles both at the beginning and end of lessons, which can be integrated into my teaching practices.
Besides books, I have also engaged with research papers and scholarly articles. Platforms like JSTOR, Google Scholar, and educational journals have been invaluable in expanding my knowledge and keeping me up-to-date with emerging trends in education. Evidence-based insights from research studies have guided me in adopting effective teaching methods and approaches that align with the needs of my students. Leveraging the power of online learning communities has been transformative for my professional growth. Platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn have connected me with educators worldwide. I have built meaningful connections and expanded my perspectives by actively participating in discussions, sharing resources, and staying updated on current trends.
Another critical aspect of staying current as an educator is nurturing a professional learning network (PLN). Platforms like Edmodo, Google Classroom, and Microsoft Teams facilitate collaboration and knowledge exchange among educators. Engaging with colleagues in these virtual spaces has provided me with valuable insights and diverse perspectives, which I adapt for my own classroom.
While professional development is crucial, I also believe in pursuing personal passions and interests. As a writer and poet, I devote time to nurturing my creativity. I am deeply passionate about writing. I have contributed chapters to books on various topics, including women’s education in India, innovative teaching practices, 21st century teaching and learning, etc. Through these chapters, I aim to shed light on important issues, share insights, and inspire fellow educators to explore new avenues in their teaching.
Writing has been an incredibly fulfilling outlet for me. It allows me to express my thoughts, emotions, and experiences. My poems, in particular, serve to tell stories and evoke emotions. Writing poems has been a way to connect with myself.
Writing, whether academic chapters or narrative poems, has played a significant role in my professional development as an educator. It has honed my communication skills, strengthened my ability to articulate ideas effectively, and expanded my understanding of diverse perspectives. Writing has enabled me to delve deeper into educational research, critically analyze and present my findings coherently and engagingly.
Moreover, my writing endeavours have profoundly impacted my teaching practice. They have fostered creativity and innovation in the way I design and deliver lessons. Through my writing, I constantly explore new ideas, reflect on my teaching experiences, and seek innovative approaches to engage my students. It has allowed me to bring a unique perspective to the classroom, infusing my lessons with storytelling elements and creating a more immersive and memorable learning environment.
By nurturing our passions outside the classroom, we can bring a unique perspective and renewed enthusiasm to our role as educators.
Staying current as an educator requires a mind that is continuously learning. Embracing a lifelong learning mindset is crucial in navigating the complexities of an ever-changing world. I aim to redefine teacher development and create a transformative educational epoch that equips our students with the skills and mindset to thrive in the future.
The author is a humanities educator based in Mumbai. She is currently a teacher in Garodia International Centre for Learning, Mumbai. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.