Our school district has embraced the Dufour’s model of Professional Learning Communities and we started the year with many changes in order to facilitate this. Schedules are very different; we now have double blocks of specials so teachers can meet for longer blocks. We ‘specialists’ have to get our classes and deliver classes but they aren’t always coming from the same area so there are numerous logistics to be worked out, still. And there are the duties that must be covered. Always the duties…who, where, when. It doesn’t matter WHO does which one, it just matters someone MUST, on time. I think it will work itself out, but right now I don’t know if I am on foot or horseback!
Our head technician created a program that allows me to create my own accounts, change passwords, and move students from one school to another within district (that feature coming soon). This has saved me lots of time and taken me lots of time. Isn’t that always the way with technology? I do like the fact that I no longer have to email the techs to make accounts for new kids, though. Now I have only myself to blame if it’s not done ASAP.
So anyhow, this first week of classes has been primarily getting the kids accounts, making sure the teachers can log in, reporting any printing or logging in problems, and answering numerous questions about what we have at school and how to best access what is needed. It doesn’t sound like much work probably but there hasn’t been one night this week that I haven’t gone to bed before the big speech at the RNC. This week has to be better!
I have to admit that there is great satisfaction in seeing the kids come back, log right in, and go to their favorite program. They know the drill because my drill doesn’t vary much. When it’s time to go, they remove the headphones, close out and log out, stand up, push in chair, and wait to be lined up.
First week is easy on them. My main thrust was to make sure they could log in. Period. This coming week I will begin real classes with real challenges. In many classes I have kids who have been with me since the first day of kindergarten and have lots of experience and some who live in the local shelter with no access. Some use computers daily, and practically all night long. Others rarely have the opportunity to use a keyboard or mouse. The fun and challenging part for me is making all the students in the class learn and have fun. The words “this is boring” are the last thing I want to hear! The delicate balance of differentiating for every student in every class every day of every week is what makes teaching technology such fun for ME!
Stay tuned to see how I do!