I want teachers who are curious, experimental, sophisticated, and engaged. ‘Lifelong learner’ sounds like someone taking a woodshop class at the retirement home.
What we really need is to be recruiting more geeks.
I’m talking about folks who don’t have to be ‘trained’ in using technology. I’m talking about people who live and breathe social media and don’t understand how you live without it.
That’s who we need to be recruiting.
Because that’s where our kids are.
And — even more importantly — that’s where the world our kids are entering into is.
It’s a great observation. I think it’s vitally important that schools hire geeks to teach, because “lifelong learners” in my experience are also geeks. They’re people who are constantly seeking out new experiences and new information, who are engaged in learning and engaged in the idea that other people are interested in learning.
But it’s been my experience that geeks don’t stay in schools teaching for very long. Geeks don’t much like bureaucracy or groupthink; they object to red tape. They get frustrated with hidebound processes and the slow pace of change. Furthermore, geeks get interested in lots of subjects. They’re basically super-charged ADD/ADHD types, and they jump from subject to subject rapidly. They’re also readily employable in many fields which allow them to have lives apart from school, in a way that many teachers I know don’t have lives.