Some revolutionary 21st-Century teachers certainly needed a blog of their own!
Decades change and so do the mentality and mindsets of people. While education has always been the ladder that has been used to uplift society, its use has been pretty unidirectional in the past centuries. The basic purpose behind education was to prepare factory workers who are trained to earn bread by whatever means necessary.
With rote learning as the only way seen to beat the curriculum into the minds of the students, strict examination methods declare students’ worth. Those who manage to get past class by class are well on their way to become intellectuals, with prospects of well-earning jobs. Others can just do whatever laborious jobs they manage to score. Good pay? Debatable. Even though the education system did evolve over time, the progress was certainly a slow one.
21st-Century Teachers and Their Revolution
Then came the 21st century—the golden era of revolutions. People changed, lifestyles changed, and naturally, so did the system of education. But till then, rote-learning had been so ingrained in the minds of people that changing that would become a strenuous and difficult task.
Teachers swoop in for rescue at this point. Millions of hard-working teachers work tirelessly all over the globe. They educate students and in return, make a living for themselves. It’s not easy to take the responsibility of hundreds of students to turn them into better individuals. Still, teachers, today try their best, to adapt to the current world and its trend. All in the hopes of being more relatable with their students.
Amongst these, certain teachers have truly brought a revolution, 21st-century style. The world knows these names for revolting against existing norms, defying the prevalent structures. They’ve managed to bring about a much-needed change in the system of education.
This Teacher’s Day, we would like to celebrate these revolutionary teachers.
Salman ‘Sal’ Khan of Khan Academy
Who hasn’t heard about Khan Academy? It is a revolutionary platform that is changing education as we know it. And the most surprising part? It’s completely free! Sal, a 36-year-old educator, established Khan Academy in 2007 with a simple objective, to provide good, accessible education with no costs levied on it.
Khan Academy has managed to expand its database with up to 6500 courses spread across various subjects. While these subjects initially revolved more around Science and Mathematics. At present, they cover a wide variety of subjects and even offer them in different languages to cater to a wider audience.
As of 2021, Khan Academy has more than 6.5 million subscribers on YouTube and its videos have more than 2 billion views all over the globe. Salman is amongst the firsts who saw the potential in online learning. His methods were extremely out of the norm in the 2000s decade. But today, the pandemic would’ve been infinitesimally more difficult if the widespread modes of online learning were absent.
As a degree holder from Institutes like MIT and Harvard, Sal knows the importance of good education. He knows how better learning can improve the opportunities of students who truly deserve them. Salman truly changed the systems of education entering the new century. He definitely deserves a name amongst the revolutionary 21st-century teachers.
Ranjitsinh Disale- A Small-Town Teacher With Dreams of a Big Revolution
Ranjitsinh, 32, is a primary school teacher from Solapur, a small district in Maharashtra. He is the winner of the Global Teachers Award in 2020. The Varkey Foundation organizes this prestigious award along with UNESCO and offers prize money of USD 1 Million. Disale came out as a winner amongst 50 teachers that were nominated globally, three of which were from India.
Ranjitsinh Disale is an educator who has given tremendous contributions to Indian education, in ways that matter. He is a very firm and vocal advocate of the education of girls. His greatest contribution though has been towards bringing about a QR-coded textbook revolution in the country. This initiative has garnered praise from all over the globe.
His idea is simple enough; textbooks of various subjects have QR codes printed alongside chapters and worksheets. These QR codes would then lead students towards a database created by the publication that offers interactive videos that assist in learning.
With the onset of a boom in smartphones, the system QR code learning will help enhance a child’s learning experience. Not only that but linking up video and audio content in different languages and dialects will appeal to the diverse population of students in India. He now serves as the education advisor for the World Bank for the period of June 2021 to June 2024.
The World Bank has established a new Coach project aimed at enhancing in-service teacher professional development to help students learn faster.
Claudine James @imthatenglishteacher- Teaching English GenZ style
Claudine James is not some hotshot who created a billion-dollar tutoring platform nor has she won the Global Teachers’ Awards. The reason she’s included in this list is that she did what most teachers might’ve hesitated to do. With the pandemic as a source of motivation, she used the best available mode available to ensure that her students study. The mode you ask? Social Media, of course.
James is an elementary school English teacher from a small town named Malvern in Arkansas, USA. She realized the pandemic was stunting the learning of her students. She tried posting some videos on YouTube, but soon realized they weren’t working when the number of views remained zero.
James tried having a friendly discussion with her students, locked on their screens in the online classes. While the students did admit that they hadn’t watched her YouTube tutorials, they suggested she switch her mode to TikTok, where the students promised are way more active!
Within three days of creating her TikTok account, she gained over 10k followers. She puts up fun videos to teach English Grammar and language to her students and to millions of other people. She’s passed 147,000 followers, 1.2 million likes, and is one of those teachers that truly are an inspiration to educators all around the globe. According to Ms. James, “When changes come, you can either do one of two things, you can just stay there or you can roll with the changes”.
Teachers work way too hard to bring a positive change in the lives of each and every single student they teach. They deserve respect, better pay, and a hell lot of more than the treatment most of them receive all over the globe.
Without these passionate, innovative, and hard-working teachers, it’s impossible to imagine a world that is as advanced, grown, and revolutionized as today. These revolutionary 21st-century teachers have realized what the need of the century is. Let’s celebrate them and all the teachers out there.