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Ok let's start with a little disclaimer....
I highly respect teachers and the difficult job they do. I am also guilty of being one of those people in education that is not in the classroom and I continue to believe that I remember what it really is like. The reality is that every year I am removed from the classroom, the more I forget just how tough the job truly is, no matter how close to it I try to remain. Teaching is NOT easy, and no matter what is said here, I live in amazement of just how much our teachers can accomplish given the circumstances they deal with.
Now that we have that out of the way, the headline really loses some of its shock value but I always love to take the time to remind people how much I respect teachers. I think it is important, because I am also one of the first to criticize the current state of education. I am also critical of teachers that really should be in other professions. You see just like anything else, there are bad apples, and I have no use for a teacher that is going through the motions. Those types are few and far between, and I hate that they tarnish the work of so many others who bust their butt on a daily basis.
So why would I fire all teachers? The graphic above should be enough to make the point. The very simplified definition shows just how outdated things are if we are still waiting for a person who simply passes on information or skill to educate students. There will always be a need for teachers to pass on the information they know to students, but it absolutely cannot stop there.
Students no matter how tech savvy they might be, have access to information at all times. The world that our kids will enter after their time in public education does not support people that wait for someone to tell them what to do or think next. Students must be given opportunities to have a say in their learning. Learning opportunities must encourage students to process information, apply that information to the world around them, and seek solutions to new problems.
On the other hand some would say that the definition of designer isn't much different. "A person who plans how to make or change something." When combined with the word learning, a Learning Designer would be someone who plans how to make or change learning opportunities. It may be subtle, but the key is as a teacher things are centered around giving information, while as a learning designer things are centered around the student learning.
In the end it all comes down to the focus remaining on student learning. If I could, I would fire all teachers and hire back Learning Designers. It may seem like a silly conversation, but it is one simple way of reminding teachers of their true importance. I think it would also give these amazing people a title that more accurately depicts the job they do every day. Great teachers are able to guide and shape the learning despite the many differences of students. They maintain a delicate balancing act of many plates. They are not simply teachers anymore. They are designers and curators of ideas. And these ideas turn into the dreams of our learners that change the world. They are so much more than a person that passes on information.