When I tell people I teach, I normally get very similar responses: “Oh! Good for you, I could never do that, you must really like children.” I feel the bigger picture of what it means to teach is lost, blurred by the oversimplification of a twelve or more year personal experience spent in the classroom. As a student, you are only privy to one aspect of teaching, hidden are the planning sessions, the collaboration sessions, the differentiation considerations, and the post-lesson reflections. Because of this misunderstanding, I have decided Cognitive Development Researcher makes a more fitting title.
A Cognitive Development Researcher works on both the micro and macro level. On the micro level, the researcher is responsible for tracking and furthering the education of 20 or more individuals over the course of 180 days. This research requires the use of adequate assessment tools; knowing which assessment is best for each situation and differentiating for each student and each lesson. On the macro level, the Cognitive Development Researcher is responsible for collaboration and conferencing; sharing gained knowledge and using the advancements of others are essential in the role of cognitive development researcher.
Yes, I teach, but more importantly I research, I reflect, I make appropriate adjustments, I try innovative approaches, and I collaborate, so that each year my students are better prepared for what lies ahead, because, yes, I do “really like children.”