When this school year started, I had no idea that I would even have the opportunity to write what I’m writing now. Since I’ve graduated from Shippensburg, I’ve never done the same thing two years in a row. This was the year that I thought I was going to break that cycle. Last year, I was the athletic director for a fantastic middle school, and I started off this year doing the same. I felt that I was finally hitting my stride with that, increasing parent involvement, communication, and making the students feel special about participating in middle school athletics. Then I found out that there was going to be an opening at the elementary level teaching technology. While initially hesitant about applying, I had the support of two of the greatest administrators I know, Joe Devine and Sarah Stout. They pushed me, put me through mock interviews, and made me evaluate who I am. For that, I am extremely thankful.
Traveling between three elementary schools is a daunting task. I still don’t know all of my students’ names (which I can’t stand, but can’t wait to do better next year), I still don’t have a “home for my stuff,” and I’m just too nice a guy to charge for that mile I travel between schools. The computers in each lab have a slightly different setup, and I had to juggle the schedules of three different buildings. I’ve managed to do that and then some. Once I started feeling comfortable, I started to reach out to teachers as to how I can help them. With integrating being one of my passions, I set out to see how I could incorporate iPads into lessons. I told them that I’d do the first lesson with them and show them how to do it, but from then on, they’ll have to tools to continue it. We did a QR code scavenger hunt with 5th graders that they loved! I showed second grade some apps that really enhanced their classroom learning experience. I’m sending out blogs and links to great iPad apps and articles to teachers staff-wide.
The big question is whether or not I’ll be back next year. I’m humbled to have many teachers ask me that question and generally be concerned. I’ve made a lot of great friends in my time in this school district and I’m lucky to have so many in my corner. While I don’t know what the future will bring, if next year will be the year I finally get to improve on what I reflect upon from the previous year, you can be sure that you could plop me just about anywhere and I’m going to make a name for myself. I guess that’s what happens when you start out as a bulding substitute; you kind of have a survivalist attitude.
Stay safe this summer; check in on Twitter every once in a while. Keep the brain thirsting for more. Reflect on this year; how can you make next year even more exciting for your students? I’m ready for it already…