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Shadow a teacher
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

In June, Gov. Gary Herbert said, "A teacher could have gone to sleep 100 years ago, come back 100 years later and felt very comfortable in the classroom — because nothing has changed." Of course, it was couched with, "We can't be doing the same old, same old and expect different and better results."

How disheartening there is so little understanding of how the job has changed.

All the century-old responsibilities of teaching are there, but a good part of my day includes technology: email, web pages, online grading and staying current with appropriate uses for teaching tools like You Tube.

Approximately 90 percent of last year's 12-year-olds had cell phones. Monitoring those is something teachers 100 years ago didn't do. They'd roll over in their graves at the new version of note-passing or text-cheating, to say nothing of porn and sexting!

What has not changed is that education is working with diverse, complex human beings. New social norms, expectations and technology have added new dimensions to the unique, and not testable, humanity of the job.

Shadow a teacher for some time, then let me know what you think.

Kay Quealy

Salt Lake City

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