Last week I gave a speech to a statewide rehabilitation organization in the field of blindness. The focus of the presentation was on literacy, technology, and the future. I titled my presentation, “What Do Grandmothers Teach.” I chose this title because I have now taught for many years, I am a grandmother, and I continually engage in reflective practice and challenge what I teach along with where, when, how, and why. A guiding quote for my reflection is from Parker Palmer and The Courage to Teach. He said, “As the elders in the society, . . . we need to look back toward the young and help them find a future that we will not see.” I remind myself that today’s kindergarten students will be the Class of 2021 and my granddaughter will be my age in 2063!!! I find those facts interesting and challenging to what I think it is important to teach them today.
An interesting site on the internet is the Beloit College Mindset List. It “provides a look at the cultural touchstones that shape the lives of students entering college.” This list helps me stay in touch with youth. The items I shared from the Mindset List of 2012 include the following:
- GPS satellite navigation systems have always been available.
- Electronic filing of tax returns has always been an option.
- WWW has never stood for World Wide Wrestling.
- IBM has never made typewriters.
- They may have been given a Nintendo Game Boy to play with in the crib.
- Caller ID has always been available on phones.
- Windows 3.0 operating system made IBM PCs user-friendly the year they were born.
Visit this site and enjoy the challenge of thinking about how mindsets influence your teaching: http://www.beloit.edu/mindset/2012.php.