Hello! Thank you for reading this!
My name is Oliver Schinkten and I have been an educator and coach for the past 12 years. I love learning and I love helping students. I had found my dream job: teaching. Over the past 12 years I have taught all grades from 6th to 12th grade, and loved every second of my experiences in the classroom. When I began teaching, I promised myself and my students that if I ever thought that I was unable to do everything that I could to prepare them to be successful in their future, that I would resign and do something about it. Twelve years after saying that, I feel strongly that the education system is broken. It became a moral imperative for me to resign. I want to do something about education.
By failing to change and adapt to the constantly changing "real-world" in which our students live, education is quickly becoming less and less relevant. During an era of strong cultural tranformation, led by the invention of the internet and its tremendous ability to connect everyone, education has remained the same as it was 100 years ago, with rows of desks, bells, lectures, rules, standardized tests, and a curriculum designed to reward conformity and the status quo.
I do not point the finger at all teachers. I do not point the finger at all administration. They are handed an agenda which they must fulfill, which resists change, embraces the status quo, and tries to stadardize everyone and every thing. It is time, however, for all teachers and administrators, and community members to do something about the outdated status quo. Students deserve a better education than they are receiving. Education needs to embrace and implement important concepts and skills such as:
- Critical Thinking
- Creative Thinking
- Soft Skills
- and teaching students to "learn how to learn" and become passionate life-long learners.
This can be done. If you are connected with teachers around the country via Twitter or other forms of social media, than you know that innovation, implementation, personalization, and the transformation of education is attainable. I could list over 1,000 teachers, right now, that are doing absolutely amazing things to help students become passionate lifelong learners, prepared for their futures in the 21st Century. Instead of listing these teachers, I invite them, as well as anyone else in the world, to contribute to AssistEd Shift and help show the world how INSPIRING, EMPOWERING, REAL-LIFE, 21st CENTURY EDUCATION of the WHOLE CHILD is attainble. Show how technology can be implemented. Show how the community and everyone in it can share expertise, resources, and passion in order to help improve education and empower our youth to change the world.
I want to be as trasparent as possible, and I want to admit that I have probably set my goals too high. I know I run the risk of putting forth a lot of time, money, and effort.... and failing, yet I will not back down. This is the mindset, effort, and passion that I want to model for my students. I believe this needs to become the mindset we all model for our students. I would like for AssistEd Shift to become the "WIKIPEDIA of EDUCTIONAL AWESOMENESS". Every day I see the awesome things happening via Twitter and through meeting with teachers and administrators.. I want to highlight these awesome things, share the stories, the blogs, the podcasts, the tutorials, and the resources with you.
My dream is that you will take the first step in helping transform education, by using some of the resources posted on this site to transform education in your life or your classroom. Hopefully you will share resources, ideas, and lesson plans that will help others to transform education. I realize there are websites out there in which teachers can sell each of their lessons to other teachers, but I think that it is time, if we are in this for helping the students, to connect, collaborate, and share "what is working" with everyone, everywhere. To share, not for the money, but for the cause. Students deserve this, and I really want to work to make this a reality. This is what I promised the students and myself 12 years ago.
How can I help you? I want to connect the community with the schools, find high quality professional development for administrators, share lessons with teachers, listen to the concerns of the parents, students, and community, I want to liaison relationships between the business world and education. I want to empower students. I want to empower others to empower students. I want to change the world.
Ultimately, I want to look back after this year and be able to say to myself that I did "everything that I could" to help assist a shift in education. Contact me anytime. Please join me.