Seven months ago, I left the classroom to venture into a new “field.” I shifted from the high school English classroom to the Educational Technology Department. I’ll be honest with you: the entire time I was there, I had this feeling of floating in space. I just couldn’t wrap my mind around the career change I had made. However, despite the alien world I was in, I was able to learn many new skills and, more importantly, a new mindset for technology in the classroom. So, here it is, August 25, and the first week of school is almost over.The strange feelings I’ve had since leaving the classroom are still floating along with me since returning because honestly, what I want to do this year is something I’ve never done. But as those feelings slowly dissipate, I am challenged by the one question I keep asking my students: if you can Google search pretty much anything, why do you need a teacher?
This is such a relevant question in the midst of all this technology talk, but it is one that I don’t have a solid answer to yet. IF we have the internet, and IF students actually start to use their resources to teach themselves, then what do I do? No one is really talking about that yet. All we are discussing is which tool and what website. So, I want to start the conversation. If there are an endless number of resources out there, what IS my job? What is OUR job?
Please don’t say babysitter, or record keeper, or …. disciplinarian.
You have probably forgotten me by now. I have been off learning new tech skills in Austin, then on Spring Break in Tennessee, then out, unexpectedly, on bereavement leave in Louisiana. Needless to say, I am exhausted. I am slowly dragging my feet back to reality and back to work. I know there are many of you who are in my shoes right now: worn out.
BUT! There is good news because it is STAAR testing week. I know what you are thinking: STAAR testing week is NOT good news. Well, I am here to tell you that it is! Use this week to recoup. There is nothing more you can do now. The test is here. So, take time this week to be filled again. What I am offering is something called a Professional Learning Network or PLN. That sounds super fancy for what it actually is: connections to people who inspire you or educate you. A PLN can be simply reading my blog when I send things out, or it could be live Twitter convos using 140 characters or less with integrated hashtags.
So, today I want to recommend one of my people I use for my PLN: Jennifer Gonzalez. She writes a regular blog which provides support, ideas, new tech, and awareness to what is happening in education today. Today’s post is about dealing with slow working students in the classroom. She has gathered resources and strategies to share with us, and now I am sharing with you. Feel free to browse her blog for other interesting topics as well as check out her book: Hacking Education: 10 Quick Fixes for Every School.
Think about what she offers then add your own thoughts below if you’d like to contribute. See you all soon!