21st Century Learners and Mothers

I feel so blessed to spend Mother's Day with my husband, girls and granddaughter. We had a fun brunch at my daughter's restaurant she manages. (Royal treatment)

21st Century Mothers
Today's mother is different from moms of the 50's and 60's. My mother was the traditional mother who stayed home, had a spotless house, with dinner on the table every evening. My sweet mother was an excellent seamstress and made all of my clothes even through college. My mother was totally dedicated to my dad, my brother and me with very little time for herself. Today, she struggles with Alzheimers and remembers very little about her life with us. She has no idea of the wonderful role-model she was for my brother and me.

I thought I too was going to have a traditional family but I was totally wrong. I found myself divorced with a 7 year-old and struggling to be a good teacher and responsible mother to my young daughter. After four years, I married the most amazing man and we have a 26 year-old daughter. We've been married for over 28 years.

My older daughter did not following the traditional path either. She is a 37 year-old single mother. Katy chose to not marry when she became pregnant. Instead, she chose to raise her daughter alone with the help of us. I think Katy epitomizes the ideal mother. She has a wonderful job and makes sure Harper is involved in all the activities she can work into her schedule. Harper is an outstanding first grader and leader in her classroom. She has self-confidence that has been instilled in her by Katy. I admire Katy's dedication to her child as she continues a good relationship with Harper's dad. This is so important for Harper to also have a good relationship with her dad.

21st Century Learners
As I reflect on this past year, I think about the type of learners we are teaching. We are no longer teaching with paper and pencil. We are teaching students who expect to use technology in their every day activities. I was observing a one-year old toddler swiping pictures on a cell phone. I was amazed as I watched her little fingers using technology as a tool. Our students are growing up with technology at their fingertips. 

When I think about 21st Century skills, I want to incorporate these skills into my products and teaching.  In Tony Wagner's book, The Global Achievement Gap, he stresses the seven survival skills in teaching 21st Century skills:

  • Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
  • Collaboration across Networks and Leading by Influence
  • Agility and Adaptability
  • Initiative and Entrepreneurialism
  • Effective Oral and Written Communication
  • Accessing and Analyzing Information
  • Curiosity and Imagination

A project-based curriculum is a great way to incorporate 21st century skills. Students are encouraged to collaborate as they work on their projects, use critical thinking and problem solving skills, practice oral and written language when they present their work and research and be creative as they explore and learn and learn through real life situations.

I've enjoyed my transformation as a teacher and facilitator. My role has become more challenging but more meaningful and enjoyable as I see students take ownership in their learning.

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