I'm on my flight back to Detroit from #ISTE11 and I have had some time to reflect on the my time here.
This past school year has been the busiest of my professional life. I chose to take a completely different approach to the way I presented my lesson. I incorporated technology in ways I never thought were possible. I made connections with educators all over the world so my students could look at literature from different points of view. It was a ton of work and it was a success. It might have been my best year of teaching and I know I can do better.
I also spent time providing professional development to teachers in my district. I showed many how to use their Smartboards, Prezi, Skype, Blogs, Twitter and many other tools.
I kept up a blog sharing web resources with teachers across my district. I kept this blog updated twice a month on my own time because I felt it was important to connect with as many teachers in my district and share the amazing things I find every day.
I also worked on a technology committee that was supposed to come up with a new technology plan for the district. Our goal was to become a leader in educational technology that other districts would look to as an example of excellence. In my opinion, we ended the year exactly where we started. We want to be a leader, but we have no plan. (No plan that has been shared with me at least and I was at every meeting.)
Early this week, I read that my school board passed the budget for next year. I read that technology was cut. Ugh. I know that budgets are tough to put together and other important areas are cut. I'm not going to say that technology is more important than other areas. I don't understand how a district can expect to be a leader in educational technology when they cut money from technology. This is an area where you cannot do MORE with LESS.
I was told there was going to be a posting for a part-time tech integrationist. I was told to apply for it when it gets posted. I fear that posting may never come. Teacher after teacher has told me they want more help, but my district has failed them again if they choose not to post this position and continue to cut funds. Every idea proposed by myself or others are met with, "we do not have the funds." So, I'm done waiting.
I'm done waiting for others to make decisions that will impact the students in my class.
I'm done waiting for the possibility of funds in the future.
I'm done waiting for the plan that never seems to come.
I'm done waiting for someone to step up and lead.
I'm done waiting.
I'm going to go out and use the connections I made to get the tools I need for the students in my classroom.
My new project is going to be getting tablets for my students. Which students you ask? All of them if I can swing it. I'm going to do it because I'm tired of waiting.
What are you waiting for?
I'm waiting for ... Moveable furniture ... I want my h.s. library to be as flexible as my students' learning needs :)ReplyDelete
I was both moved and concerned to read your post.ReplyDelete
It sounds like not only you had a good year, but also your students and the teachers you were networking with. You have so much to give!
I'm also concerned that, like in the proverbial horse story, the system will burn you out. In the story everyone is so pleased that the horse is getting all this work done without being fed until the horse dies.
I don't know much about Anerican school disctricts but I have seen it happen here - no funds are being allocated because those resourceful teachers / social workers / volunteers are getting the job done anyway...
I feverently hope that your important work will be recognized and the funds you deserve will come your way!