Reflections by Glenn Lee (United States of America), Global Teacher Prize 2018 Top 10 Finalist
- Befriend technology
Daily life routines are becoming more and more efficient and automated, requiring less human labor and more artificial intelligence/machines. Automation has replaced a lot of the work that humans used to do, while many more of the work carried out by humans today has the potential to be automated soon. Everyone (especially teachers) must be more technology savvy in order to stay relevant and productive in society with a value-added role.
- Be a life time learner
Find your niche and continue to learn and grow in both your personal and professional life in order to stay relevant and successful in your career(s). In education, we see often that teachers in a particular subject area take on roles that are different later in their careers, ranging from technology coordinators to administrators. However, not all of them are successful in doing so. Many teachers also change roles because they simply have no choice. All workplaces should encourage and support employees to participate in ongoing professional development workshops/trainings, higher education coursework, field trips, and technology integration which will better equip them in transitioning to new, different job roles in the future.
- Go beyond four walls
Work spaces will become non-traditional to better suit the needs of employers, employees, and customers. Be open-minded and flexible. Even teaching work conditions today may become obsolete much sooner than you think, forcing you to retrain and take on a different job/role, including one that may have not even been invented yet. In education, a teacher’s workspace may not be defined as the four walls of their classroom in the future.
- Stay healthy
There is a trend of governments having a hard time paying pensions to retirees, because of longer life expectancies. The retirement age will increase or become obsolete in the future. Staying healthy, adopting good eating habits and maintaining a balanced lifestyle between your professional and personal life should be your highest priority. Expect to work longer at a much older age.
- Be a facilitator
Content knowledge is easily accessible to students. Many of us must now change their approach versus what we were taught when we first became educators. Thus, the teacher’s role has transformed into more of a facilitator and project manager.
- Work flexibly
As the workforce and the workplace evolves over time, the definition of work will also change. Expect to see less long-term contracts or employment, with more outsourcing and freelance education work. This will allow employers to save money without the expensive healthcare benefits or vacation/holiday pay. Be ready to take advantage of opportunities as it will provide you more flexibility with your time and allow you to multitask and become more efficient.
The Global Education and Skills Forum is taking place on 17th and 18th March 2018 in Dubai, UAE, with the theme of “How do we prepare young people for the world of 2030 and beyond?” I am looking forward to the Global Learning Lab on Saturday 17th March where Teach For All will share Insights from Transformational Classrooms From Around The World