SLEEPLESS nights, burning the midnight oil, browsing the net, researching for information, reading the contents, and downloading the files are but few of the tedious and mind-boggling preparations to become a 21st Century teacher.

The implementation of K to 12 Basic Education Program calls for all teachers to become teachers of the 21st Century who are considered as Life Savers. The Department of Education in Region 10 concluded a mass training for Grade 10 teachers on May 5-10 and 12-17, 2015 which were held at different venues. The training was well prepared by the speakers and organizers. Eventually the activities were all inspiring.

One of the salient features of the training was to train educators to become 21st Century teachers. According to an author, implementing 21st Century skills into the TEACHERS’ lessons will revitalize both TEACHERS’ and students’ interests!

But what does it take to become a 21st Century Teacher? Is it enough to be tech-savvy? Is it enough to be possessor of digital gadgets? The answer is a BIG NO! But these are requisites to become 21st Century teacher. 

First of all, the expertise of teachers is extremely needed. Teachers must be capable of handling computers and other ICT devices, browsing the net, surfing web sites and downloading information. Second and above all, the indispensable and essential is the skill to harmonize with 21st Century learners.

What then are the 21st Century skills of learners that teachers should complement with? 

Four Cs best describes the 21 Century Skills: 1) Critical thinking and problem solving, 2) Communication, 3) Collaboration and 4) Creativity.

To become critical thinkers and problem solvers, teachers must pose problem and ask students to solve it or research for answers. To become learner-communicators, teachers should raise an issue or topic and the students must express their ideas using varied media. To become learner-collaborators, teachers must provide tasks for students to work in teams. To become creative learners, teachers must present a challenge for students to design solution or innovation.

These are the complicated tasks of the 21st century teachers. Their role is not “a piece of chicken”; teachers are like warriors preparing for combat to materialize the needs of the 21st century learners.

During the mass training, the trainers stressed among demo-teachers the inclusion of 21st century teacher skill. As one of the demo-teachers, I felt so worn-out with the preparation using technology like the LCD projector. What would I project when I have nothing to show among learners? So, I needed to burn midnight candles to implement a 21st century classroom. I have to download files relevant to the topic which would support the lesson e.g. video clips, images, audio and the like. I also prepared a PowerPoint presentation. Aside from preparing the physical aspect of the 21st century skill, I needed to implement the Four Cs which require utmost focus and attention. 

After the demo-teaching and the training, everybody realized that implementing the 21st century classroom and producing the 21stcentury teacher is tiring yet fulfilling. Fulfilling in the sense that at the end of the day the objectives are met. You will find both the teachers’ and students’ interest burn. 

Teachers left the venue of the K to 12 mass training with a pledge of commitment to implement a 21st century classroom by 21stcentury teachers who are armed with the skills. GLOREEN T. ALEJANDRINO, TEACHER-III