Note to Reader: With all the chatter today surrounding the announcement of iBooks and a new era of digital textbooks, I found myself asking the question, what if textbook companies defined the role of a teacher? Hopefully the following excerpt from an imaginary elementary textbook is more false than true.
Chapter 14 – What is a Teacher?
Build on What You Know
Do you have a school in your community? Maybe you have even attended a school. Did you attend a large school or a small school? What do you call people who work at schools?
In your classroom, the person who stands in front of you and tells you what to do is called a teacher. A teacher’s job is to give you information you need to get a good grade on the test. If you get good grades on enough tests, then you will graduate to a higher grade where another teacher will give you more information and more tests.
Did you ever notice that the textbook a teacher uses looks different from your textbook? A teacher’s textbook is special. It is bigger and usually has a big spiral wire that holds it together. The teachers textbook has more information than your textbook. This extra information is called curriculum. The curriculum is all the other stuff your teacher does that is not in your textbook. The worksheets you do are part of the curriculum. Sometimes the curriculum contains extra stories, activities, or even games for you to play. The curriculum tells the teacher what to do and when to do it.Where does a teacher get their information? Their information comes from textbooks.Textbooks have all the information you need to know to get a good grade on the test. The information is organized into units and chapters. Each chapter begins with Key Terms. These are words you need to know. Chapters end with questions that you need to answer and turn into the teacher. The teacher looks at your answers to see if you understand what is written in your textbook before giving you a test. When you take a test, you are not allowed to look at the textbook to answer the questions. So before taking a test it is a good idea to memorize the information.
Digital textbooks are textbooks that are not made out of paper. They are electronic and can be viewed on a computer or iPad. They have all the same information as paper textbooks, but also can have video clips, activities, and sometimes even games that work a lot like computer or video games. Some digital textbooks even let students take tests online.
Where does a teacher get their information?
Why is it important to memorize information?
What is a teacher’s textbook called?
CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
If everything a teacher needs is included in their curriculum, why do you think some teachers use other resources outside their textbook?