This year has been challenging to say the least. Almost daily I would look at Cherie and say, “Is it too early to put my Failure Face on?” The joke has been that we had to wait until at least 9:30 am. I always said that if I were to become an Instructional Technologist that I did not want to be a “Mrs.Fix It”. I wanted to be in the classroom with teachers doing what I love – integrating technology into curriculum while watching children thrive. That didn’t happen this year. This year was one of constant learning, and for the most part I was a “Mrs. Fix It”. Ironically, I actually learned to like that part of this job – because when you fix something for a teacher it makes them smile. It calms them down. It takes away the anxiousness that their lesson is not going to work, and that is a big deal. It’s huge, and I like helping people. Although, I ended up learning a ton about networking shenanigans and a ton about the backbone of the school – I did not get into classrooms like I envisioned, and that has weighed heavily on me. Honestly, it has just made me feel sad. Like I have failed. The last few weeks I have realized that it’s ok. I needed this year to learn. I needed to be able to grasp networking, IP addresses, domains, wires, troubleshooting, etc. Because this part of technology, the intricate details that make it all work, has never been easy for me to comprehend. I have had to work really hard the past few years to just “get it”. When people say that it comes easy to me…well, just ask Cherie.
A few months back I attended a Google Academy put on by Region 5 where I sat and listened to a few teachers talk about how they changed their classroom environment by integrating more technology into their lessons. They went through a Digital Champion Program in their district that the Instructional Technologists put together. Do you know how cool it was to watch those teachers present, with excitement, the projects that their students had created throughout the year? These were teachers that were not really utilizing technology, and now they were presenting to other teachers. It really lit a fire inside of me. I began emailing Marla, one of their Instructional Technologists, and she immediately began helping me start on my journey of implementing this program at my school. Y’all, I am so pumped right now. I took their information, tweaked it to our needs, and then presented it to my administration. They are all on board. The coolest thing that happened from this process so far is the email that I received from Marla today. It reminded me of where I started – a teacher so afraid of technology that she rolled the SMART Board out of her room and refused to use it. A teacher so scared of not teaching to the test that no real world projects or learning was happening. A teacher so scared of change that she did the same thing year after year after year. A teacher whose passion was sparked one night on Twitter and she never looked back. A teacher that made a huge change for herself and for her kiddos. Guys, this can be you. If I changed – anyone can, and that’s just the truth. I will absolutely be blogging about this whole process. I am so thankful to Marla and her colleagues for sharing and helping me to remember who I am and what this is all about. The following is the flyer that I made to introduce our new program to the teachers in my district. I am so excited about next year and the chance to get into classrooms and really help teachers infuse technology into their daily routines. I am excited to tailor lessons to specific grade levels and content. I am excited to see students grow and thrive with the world at their fingertips. And I am even excited to fix some computers, restart servers, and troubleshoot any technological issue that may come my way.
Again, I took the information that Marla sent me and tweaked it to meet the needs of my district.