I’ll admit I’m playing catch-up this week. The final assessment for the MEd subject I’ve been doing over the summer session is due in less than a week so writing that has had to take priority. However, it is almost complete so it is a good time to step back from it for a bit and get something written for this challenge, which I’m equally keen to keep up with.
I’m a teacher-librarian so I don’t have a regular classroom or students; instead I work with anyone who’ll have me, in and out of the library and classrooms. In my previous position I was also ICT Coach which meant specifically working with teachers to build their capacity in ICT. My new role also encompasses a bit of that and it is my favourite “best” part of what I do.
Teachers often speak of students having “ah ha” moments when learning locks into place. For me there is nothing better than witnessing a teacher’s “ah-ha” moment when they can suddenly see the pedagogical possibilities of some bit of technology that I have been sharing. When they go from thinking “oh that’s just Heather, she’s good with technology; I couldn’t do that, it wouldn’t benefit my students learning” to “wow, I can do this, I can see how this will help me and my students achieve x, y or z”.
In most schools there is a sub-class of teachers whom everyone else considers. not exactly luddites, but perhaps “the least likely to engage with technology”. Last year I worked alongside a primary language teacher (a whole learning area that falls into that group at my school) to introduce Google Classroom as a forum for sharing student work within the class. The students were in year 3, the lowest level at my campus. It was fantastic to witness the excitement of the children who quickly learned to attach their work to announcements and post positive feedback to each other; but it’s been even more exciting to observe the eye-opening of other teachers who suddenly realise “I want what she’s having”.
Sometimes my patience is tested as I seem to be explaining the same function or process for the billionth time but when they “get it”, when things start changing in their classrooms because of it, it all becomes worthwhile.
Working with teachers, that’s what I love, that’s the best bit of my job and I think it’s what I do best.
PS For those who ask me how I get everything done my stock answer is “my house isn’t very clean” but it’s also about using time efficiently. This post has been written on my Chromebook on a train and a tram as I travel to work today