Tuesday, August 26, 2014

But...What Will I Do All Day?

To say I am feeling a bit nervous about my new job would be an understatement.

The look of a nervous man

After three short years in the classroom, I decided to take on a new roll as a technology training specialist in the De Pere School District. There were many reasons for the switch, but paramount to my move was that fact that I feel connecting with educators and helping them use technology more effectively is my greatest strength.  If I've learned anything from reading, learning, and growing, it is that you capitalize on the things you do well. That doesn't mean I'm not working on my weaknesses and deficits (embarrassing fun fact, I just learned to ride a bike THIS SUMMER), but for gainful employment, I know I'll be more successful in this role.

I don't have footage of the bike ride, so here is a baby pig.

But, of course, none of that cures the apprehension I have when attempting something new. I keep wondering "what if I can't help people?", "what if they don't like my philosophy", "what if I don't have all the answers?".  I know these are foolish feelings and I just need to be myself, do my best, and keep grinding.  The craziest reoccurring thought though, is "What do I do all day?".

They'll probably find a use for me...

I am responsible for two buildings, totaling probably (I'm ballparking) 70-ish teachers.  They are grades 5-8. They probably have the most technology in the district, but are very new to Chromebooks and Google apps. Here I am coming off an amazing summer, having attended the Google Teacher Academy and generally learning a lot about doing this type of work. Yet I still wonder if I'll be good enough to really excel. To really bring the learning to the next level. To really fulfill all those lofty ideas I have for education. Will I have that type of influence? Is that even a good thing? Most of all, I wonder what I'll be doing all day.

For the first time in any job I've had, I don't really have a set schedule. There isn't a prescribed routine. It really begins and ends with me. Sure, teachers will ask for help, and the principals will give me assignments, but the action isn't going to come to me a majority of the time. I have to have the courage to make things happen. I have to push post all the insecurities, the stupid questions I mentioned above, and really believe in my philosophy and that what we can do with technology with my help will greatly improve the education for the students of De Pere.

 So what do I want to do all day?  Let's make a prediction here, and when I look back at the end of the year, we'll see what I accomplished!

  1. Help get 100% of the staff to utilize Google Apps in their classroom at some point. Obviously, I'd like them to use it regularly, but they've only been a Google school for 1 year.  Time to take it to the next level.
  2. Get at least 50% of the staff connected to a PLN, either on G+ or Twitter.  I think Pinterest is great for classroom creation ideas, but Twitter takes it to the next level with professional connections that keep the fire burning.  Much of what I know and do as an educator is a direct result of the connections and learning that occur through this.
  3. Get at least one teacher to gamify something. 
  4. Get at least one teacher to adopt a flipped classroom.
  5. Get both the Intermediate School and Middle School on Twitter and Facebook, and weekly provide updates, pictures, and generally positive connections with the community. I'd ideally like to do Instagram as well. Perhaps I can connect all three.  *This one is especially important to me*
  6. Be alive and breathing on June 13th
  7. Generate positive change and innovation amongst the staff (I get it, it is touchy feely and no measurable. So sue me).
  8. Recruit at least 30 new teachers to attend an edcamp.
  9. Recruit at least 5 teachers to join the #tlap crew!
  10. Above all, I want to continue to keep the focus on how technology can better support kids and their learning.  Ultimately, the students should enjoy school more, they should be learning more, and they should be creating more. If all else fails except this one, then I had the most successful year.

It is safe to say that in order to make these things happen, I'm going to have to work my butt off (sounds like a great workout plan anyway).  

So when we put it that way, I guess I know what I'll be doing all day.

This, right?

Time to make it happen!

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