How will AI change what it means to be a School Teacher?

In: Education

The world watched in shock and awe last year as GTP 3 wrote poems, created code from scratch, and predicted how famous politicians would respond. It made me wonder: if Artificial Intelligence (AI) can do everything, what will the rest of us do?


When the current batch of primary students graduates, what will they do when they step out into the world? What kind of world will they inhabit, what kind of jobs will they do, what kind of learner profile attributes will they need to demonstrate? And what does that mean for teachers?


What is your value-addition in a learner’s life?

We, as educators, are arguably few of the most influential factors in the lives of our students, especially growing up. Learners not only pick things up academically, but observe our behaviours and responses closely. Students, as Theodore & Nancy Sizer say, are always watching.

A 2014 study by Harvard economists tracked a million students over 20 years from grade 4 to adulthood to verify the impact of teacher value-add on student outcomes. The value-added (VA) approach is basically an evaluation of students’ improvement in test scores throughout a year with adjustments of factors that are outside the teacher’s control. The study’s findings show how students assigned to higher VA teachers are more likely to attend college, earn higher salaries, and live in better areas. In ROI terms, the study states that a VA teacher would generate lifetime earnings gains worth more than $250,000 for the average classroom.

As evidenced above, your value-add matters! Our learners today tend to outsmart us in a lot of ways: technology, social media, depth in a concept, and follow-up questions. Are we ready for them? Now that we know our purpose of individual and professional growth, let’s see how we can become mentors and coaches of impact!

What does it take to be a mentor?

We know that EdTech capabilities can’t replace us. However, with Artificial Intelligence (AI) on the rise to replace human intervention, five million jobs will cease to exist by 2030. So, how are we preparing ourselves and our learners for this?


We upskill! Once we begin our own journey of adapting to this dynamism, our learners will too. It’s the era of customisation. We must align our lessons with the needs and interests of our learners. Using apps like Toddle helps us collaboratively design lesson plans keeping our learners’ needs first.


It’s interesting how a Google search on ‘upskilling teachers’ is more about upskilling students than educators. There’s professional development, but where is personal? So, before we customise lesson plans, it’s important to undertake a self skill-assessment like this one and customise our learning path.


Once we are through with our SWOT analysis, we plan our actions! We’re trying a plethora of pedagogy and tools to encourage reflection, qualitative assessments through feedback, peer-to-peer learning for our students. We must also do this for ourselves as educators! It’s time to leverage our learnings to begin our journey as mentors and combine our intelligences with AI.



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