Anticipates the future

The effective 21st century teacher has an awareness of rapidly changing technology trends and ensures students are not left behind in the wake of this technological change. They are in tune with the direction of the economy and career opportunities for children in the future. They are committed to preparing their students for the world in which they will live and work, as opposed to their current world. They are advocates for change in educational thinking and prioritisation of spending.

Is a lifelong learner

The effective 21st century teacher understands the importance of being a flexible, life-long learner, willing to accept and embrace change and unafraid to make mistakes but willing to learn from them. They focus on the process and the outcome rather than the tools to get us there. Technologies are simply tools to improve our quality of life; when they fail to do that, it’s time to invent new tools.

Fosters peer relationships

Students might have 500 friends on Facebook, but do they know how to be a friend? The effective 21st century teacher should model and demand courtesy, communication, respect and cooperation. Technology can encourage isolation, therefore interpersonal skills need to be taught so students can go on to be effective in the workplace and fulfilled in their lives.

Can teach and assess all levels of learners

The effective 21st century teacher should understand the importance of being a ‘situational leader’ – assessing the level of each student’s learning ability and commitment to learning. Teachers should aim to bring students to a level where they feel comfortable having a say in their own learning.

Is able to discern effective vs. non-effective technology

Children are very quick to adopt new technologies and the effective 21st century teacher should recognise that these technologies can often enhance student learning, while other technologies are non-productive. The effective teacher needs to be adept in judging the educative and non-educative use of technologies available to them and to their students at school and at home.
 Adapted from


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