In a recent #edchat conversation on Twitter, the topic of motivation came up, and one of the comments I made was: “Nobody trains me because I’m the only one at school who does what I do. If I waited for instructions, I’d be fired by now.”
Part of the reason I said that is because I occupy a very unique position at my school. That means that, for many of the problems I face in my day, there may not be someone else in the building who can help me. Especially since this is my first year in this position, that can be a little bit frightening, and more than a little lonely. I work with great people, but when everyone is looking at me for the answer, it’s stressful, to say the least.
So when the answer isn’t readily apparent, I have to find it. I have a wide variety of resources. The county I work for is excellent about maintaining documentation and as such they have a variety of databases and websites that I can go to for instructions or help. Since I’m new to this job, I also have a mentor at another school, who’s been doing this for a while and more often than not knows the answer off the top of his head. Failing that, there’s a message board for us to post and answer questions, and it’s always amazing to see how fast the group can solve one person’s particular problem. And if even that’s not enough, there’s the county office, which loves helping us and maintains an army of experts in everything to see us through.
I’m fortunate to support a great group of teachers who do an amazing job day in and day out teaching our students, sometimes under difficult conditions. They should be commended for the great work they do day after day, all year long. It is my pleasure to support them in their teaching and to provide them with the technological resources they need to be successful, and seeing them excited about technology makes my day on a regular basis.
It’s one of my long-term goals to support and further an attitude of inquiry and curiosity going forward in regards to the technology at our school. I’d love to see teachers fully embracing what we have to offer, using it and integrating it into their lessons to reach our students on an even more meaningful level. I’d also like to see technology explored without reservation for uses in professional development, as I see that as a potential growth opportunity for us as well.
We’ve come a long way. Even getting rid of overhead projectors was a huge step for us, replacing them instead with fancy document cameras. Still, I look forward to watching us shift from a top-down technology school of ideas and assistance from above to a bottom-up technology school of inspiration from below.
I know we’ll get there soon.