When I started working at my school, I was one of the only staff members truly integrating technology into my classroom, and to be honest, it made me stand out. I found myself as a first and second year teacher giving workshops and running sessions for staff members showing them the benefits of using technology. After a few sessions, I was wondering if my efforts were, at the very least, making people think about their practice.
This year, I’ve continued the journey, trying to make a difference in my school with whoever will listen, and I think I’m actually… gulp… making changes!!!!!!!!!!
I’ve been running weekly PLC sessions that give me the time and opportunity to teach willing staff members about different web tools and give them ideas for using them in their class. These sessions have turned from friendly conversations of learning into intense debates of practice and pedagogy for each of us. Although people were beginning to experiment, a veteran teacher, a Science teacher who’s been at our school for over 25 years, was my toughest critic.
At first, she didn’t see why she needed to pay attention to this “stuff”. The way she did it was fine and worked so why change? I tried to get her to look at things differently by showing her things I’ve done and my students have created, but it was hard to see how my English projects fit her Science content.
But then, I introduced her to Glogster. I helped her figure out where it fit in her curriculum, assisted in creating the rubric for a project using the tools and answered questions along the way… even if it was in the middle of class! And you know what? She actually used it! She did a project using Glogster, and it was successful!!
Two weeks later, that same veteran Science teacher, now tech-addict, was in my classroom asking about HTML codes, wiki pages, and embedding student projects on her class website! Before she left my room, she turned to me, pointed, and said, “You are my inspiration. This is all because of you.” And gave me a big hug.
I’d say that’s progress!