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Teachers’ New Roles in the Classroom

In order for students to be fully prepared in their futures as educators, current teachers in the workforce need to learn to adapt to the ever-changing times according to University of Kansas associate professor of curriculum and teaching Heidi Hallman.

Hallman begun noticing a trend in the continued development of technology and resources in today’s classroom. She recently published her study, “Teacher as shape shifter:’ Exploring the intersection of new times and teaching of English language arts” in 2015, where she observed the need for educators becoming more flexible in order to succeed.

“The idea of as teacher of shape shifter is really the idea that teachers need to take on new ideas about the role of teaching in order to be successful,” said Hallman. “Shape Shifter is a term used by scholar Jim G to talk about people who really have a portfolio of attributes that they can kind of re arrange and fit in to particular settings.”

Students notice the enthusiasm their professors have for their students to thrive once they complete their schooling and enter into a profession of being an educator to the next generation.

“Like everything else, curriculums and teaching styles are going to change over time. They have to,” said Graduate student Mandy Cadle. “. I think our professors here understand that and do a good job setting us up for the future.”

Hallman also noted how important it is for teachers to experience different schoolings and environments to fully understand the different educational settings. This way, they expose themselves to multiple styles of teaching and furthermore, realize that being an educator to young students will continue to change so they must always be willing to adapt.

“I think education is really a fun area to work in because it’s always changing and there’s always things that are difficult, challenging, but always things that are hopeful. And so if you want to be excited about your work become an educator. I think many of the teachers I work with have that spirit in them and I just want them to continue to have that as they go out and take on new positions.”

The study “Teacher as ‘Shape Shifter:’ Exploring the Intersection of New Times and the Teaching of English Language Arts” can be found in the journal “Changing English: Studies in Culture and Education.”