It’s what I love to do.
I was leaving school yesterday and had a conversation with a fifth grade teacher about using Photostory 3 to put together a presentation for her students. She was having some difficulty with the program, so I had offered to help her. I explained to her that as much as I love teaching my students about Word, PowerPoint, Excel, etc., I really enjoy helping teachers utilize technology in their classrooms. I only see my kids 45 minutes ever six days. Regular ed. techers have the ability to influence their students more by utilizing new hardware and software to their advantage. They have the power to bring lessons to life in more subjects than I can.
I owe my passion for trying to integrate technology to two guys that I used to teach with in Culpeper, Virginia. While I lived down there, I lived with two friends from Shippensburg, Dave and Jill McDonald. Jill taught fifth grade with me and Dave taught Kindergarten in the same school. Dave was the first person to have a SmartBoard. His lessons were fantastic and the kids were all totally engaged whenever he was teaching. Jack Glick was the school’s technology integration specialist. His role was to help teachers integrate technology into his lessons. He once helped me through a newscast project with my fifth graders where they read their reports in front of a green screen. We were able to put scenes and pictures up behind them during post-production. He also helped me understand the basics of HTML. I was able to create my own website, and it really helped me understand how webpages work. These two guys took the time to teach me, as well as other teachers the importance of being able to teach WITH technology. It’s because of these two guys that I strive to do the same things in my school. Luckily, my schedule allows me to have some time to work with teachers on some projects. I enjoy it! It keeps me connected to the kids and to regular ed. content.
I mentioned Jack when I interviewed for the position I’m in now. I think it’s important to be able to recognize that one person, or that one spark that leads you on a particular path. And sometimes, it’s great to take a few minutes and reflect on where you’ve been and what you’ve done. Even if you’re not done doing it yet.