The 21st century is a time, I would say, a time of rapid changes that we can no longer follow so easily. Almost unnoticeably, unavoidable mobile phones entered our lives without which we no longer leave the house, the Internet from whose speed depends on how much time we will need to finish all our obligations and there is a cable TV which slowly steals our free time.
In this new century, some new kids are born who need to be brought up, taught, interested, stimulated thought processes, creativity… When I enter the teacher's office, I often hear my colleagues complaining to each other about how children have changed, how they don't pay attention, how not to they learn, how uninterested they are… And can it be otherwise? I'm sure he can.
First of all, I think that we teachers need to adapt to the new living conditions, to let life into our classrooms and to stop stubbornly sticking to the content that we ourselves see as unnecessary, superfluous. And to give free rein to the imagination and to prepare the students for life. Although someone would say that I teach history, and we deal with the past, the views of both me and my students are focused on the future. My goal is to teach them to think critically, to be creative, to teach them to be ready for different challenges, and in that, the use of web tools and an internet platform for teaching helps me a lot. The contents of my subject are just the basis for reaching the goals.
Each class has had its own Google classroom for two years, which is a safe space, hidden from the eyes of the public, because only my students and I have the code for the entrance in this space. This is the place where they ask me questions and they often remind me that it is time to give new homework. And they are glad about homework! The space where we work is outside the classroom. Since I have twelve classes, I have twelve classrooms - for each class one classroom. And we really enjoy working on some interesting projects.
These days my students in Year 8 have been making a virtual newspaper about the culture and life in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. In the newspapers they had space not only for texts, but also for short films, advertisements, interesting things... This winter the students in Year 7 have shot short films about how the influence of Turkish rule on our lives looks like today. They searched for Turkish dishes in our kitchen, for the words we still use, customs etc. These days the students in Year 6 are besieging the library of our small town in search of the virtues and disadvantages of the rulers from the Nemanjić family because they need to prepare themselves for the debate and the trial of the rulers.
I once heard a story that I will share with you. Namely, a teacher in a western developed country was looking for a job. A member of the commission asked him how old he was. He replied that he was ten years old. And the next question was: Do you have one year that you repeated ten times, or did you innovate your work every year, so every year was different?
And what about you? How Do you do the same topics in the same or similar way every year, or do you try to push boundaries with students every year?
Our job as a teacher can be very nice, creative, can motivate us to try to do more. After thirty years spent in the classroom, every day brings new challenges to me for which it is good to find appropriate solutions. Old Romans used to say, "Use the day!" I would just introduce the old saying into the classroom and say, "Use the class!"