One of the more eye-opening things I've learned from my PLC experience is the value of making learning real for my students. Of course, we as teachers always try to make our students' learning authentic, make it relevant, make it meaningful to their lives, and they’ll be more likely to get it. But to make it real goes even further. According to Prensky, "real means that there is a perceived connection by the students...between what they are learning and their ability to use that learning to do something useful in the world." Wow. The whole reason I love teaching middle school is because I just might have an impact on who that kid is eventually going to be. Imagine if I can also impact what that kid is eventually going to do in the world.
Natalie’s story in the video is an amazing one and her message is clear. Find what inspires you and chase it. As teachers, not only do we have the ability but we have the opportunity to help our students find inspiration and use it to change the world. It doesn’t have to be an act of huge proportions like Natalie’s – it can be something as simple as getting others to recycle. I don’t know one student that wouldn’t want to do something useful in the world. Maybe they just don’t know how. Shouldn’t we teach them?