Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The realization that LEADERship may not be so bad after all...

You know the feeling you had on your first day of school? Meeting your teachers when you were a student...Meeting your students as the teacher... I honestly thought those days were over for me. Officially giving up the title of classroom teacher gets me choked up every time I think about it and I told my students adios over two months ago.
    Last night, however, my tummy started to flutter, my nerves started to build and I literally got excited over the notion that it was my first day of school, with teachers. I can't explain it. Odd, we are equals (the teachers and I) but I have an excitement and an infection that I still want to make contagious: the spirit of educating students in new ways EVERYDAY.

  So, I visualized my day. What I would say. What I would wear. My actions. How I would show them that I am here and truly committed in supporting them and their students. Wow! I gotta say I am still trying to understand these feelings and actions. I am a specialist of technology and I get to do this everyday.
   I'm not glorifying it in no shape or fashion. I know that their will be gloomy days. I know I will fail sometimes. But I accept it. I own it and I will overcome those obstacles so I can continue to be the infection for another day.

   I look back on the days I met teachers from all around the country who were like-minded individuals. We met in New Jersey. We met Phil Mickelson. We built friendships, became life-long learners and inspirations for each other from that very experience. I still remember hearing this statement, "When you go back to your district and your campus--be the inspiration. Be the infection to change the mindset of educators around you. Be the leader I know you are." This was said to me directly by the director of NSTA at time. I responded, kind of  bazaar (I know)--with, "me?..leadership is NOT for me. I'm good in my classroom, with my kiddos." She told me before I left the Science Center, "you will soon see people gravitate to you as a leader."

   Today, as I parked my car, grabbed my backpack and told my mom I loved her (yes my momma) I thought of the very moment I never thought I would see: me in a leadership role, infecting others with a different mindset. When I shared my vision with the staff of 100 or so new and veteran educators at my new home away from home, I felt my flame ignite inside again. I was seriously nervous about sharing my dreams, goals and aspirations with this crew but they embraced me and the ideas I shared with open arms.
I was nervous about my administration seeing my vision and understanding or should I saying adapting to my ABOVE and BEYOND mindset of technology integration but they have been extremely supportive and helpful every step of the way. I feel like I was able to lay out the foundation to reassure my colleagues that I will have their back throughout this journey and show them some amazing ways to seamlessly integrate technology into their classroom and within their curriculum.

So, on my first day of school part 2 (with staff), I made it to work safely, introduced myself, explained my role as an instructional technology specialist, and gave a small glimpse of  how I will help educators at my new home. Now, after running around the campus, tracking runaway technology tools, putting out a networking emergencies, placing work orders, taking visual inventory, logging new teachers into email accounts, having a virtual meeting via Google hangouts, getting invited to lunch, attending my first LEADERship meeting and checking homework (I gave to the staff BEFORE the first day of school) I exhale and say.. I made it and it was truly AWESOME!

now on to the Actual first day---with the students!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Teacher-TechER Role

It's been forty-eight hours since I officially became an instructional technology specialist on paper. Life as I have known it for the last decade is changing. I thought. Ya know, teaching children has it's benefits. One large advantage is they are children. You can't change that and being a science teacher, I understand their is always one variable that won't change.

Teaching adults isn't the same. The benefit I'm keeping in front of me is that exposing educators to what the world of digital technology has to offer allows them to prepare their students as well as expand their classrooms BEYOND the four walls. This was my goal while I was a classroom teacher and I hope some of my students will never forget that experience.

Today, as an educator and Tech integrationist (I like the term as I just made that up) I am realizing more and more that buy-in from the educators I worked side-by-side with just 48 hours ago isn't the same as it once was. The words coming out of my mouth explaining that "when I was a teacher" isn't as warm and fuzzy as "today in class I did..."  My role as this tech coach, specialist, integrationist is going begin with rebuilding relationships and gaining trust (from everyone, including administration). I went to graduate school to learn how to seamlessly blend digital technology into my classroom curriculum and my enthusiasm for such is what I truthfully pray will "INFECT" others and cause them to catch the bug that has begun this roller coaster ride of: Mrs. Glass, the Instructional Technology Specialist.

I'm going to use this blog to express my thoughts, hopes, dreams and inspirations for this first year in this new school, role and position. 

How do I feel today? I see the glass as half full. I see the bright side of life and I'm feeling excited to share everything that has been shared with me.

Until the next time I share (which I know will be tomorrow) :)