Do you ever wonder if you have what it takes to make the transition to STEM? As teachers we are constantly being pushed toward the newest trend and expected in implement it flawlessly with few resources. Our creativity has been stifled, and our lessons have become bland as we seek to please the mighty test gods to order seek proficiency on our new evaluation. STEM, we think, is just one more trend that will be thrown away in few short years, so we keep our head down and just continue day in and day out without ever adjusting our teaching. Well, let me say, let me shout…. TEACHERS – WAKE UP! Our time as come. We CAN be creative, we CAN have excellent scores and we CAN infuse life back into our students. And here is how:
- Mistakes will happen…it’s ok.
Our mistakes are not about a lack of ability. Mistakes do NOT equal failure. We have to change our thinking. Our mistakes provide fertile soil to model risk taking and an opportunity to teach students how to use “failure” as a way to learn.
- Learn to embrace problems.
STEM is all about problem-based learning. When you are planning a lesson, train your brain to identify a problem for the students to solve. It takes a paradigm shift and some time to develop, but once you start, it gets easier. STEM is so much more than simply a hands-on activity, it’s using problem-based learning to teach. It REQUIRES kids to think and it levels the playing field between different types and levels of learners.
If you don’t even know where to start, here is a free starter pack to help you get started.
- Restore the fun.
Teachers, we have complained too long about having to teach our curriculum a particular way. We have seen how it is inadequate and does not work. This is our chance. Gone are the days when skill and drill is considered an acceptable way to teach. We aren’t trying to produce robots or regurgitators of information. We want students that love to learn and take initiative and let’s face it…facilitating and guiding students to learning something new is LOTS more fun than lecturing!
April and Diane 🙂