This past summer, I became obsessed with the show, Under the Dome. The idea of an entire town being secluded from the world intrigued me. In a way, it reminded me of the secluded life that so many educators live by…unbeknownst to them. Prior to taking on my new role this year as a district instructional technology specialist, in “my own dome”, I believed that teachers had little to no excuse to NOT be aware of research concerning the growing climate of education. However, the teachers of the schools to which I serve have definitely opened my eyes to the bigger picture that represents their reality. In a sea of constant changes, mandates, programs, unbelievable streams of testing and lack of communication, how are teachers supposed to know what they do not know? In other words, when and how do they get the “information” amongst the clutter of all of the other information?
I’ve spent the last few days working directly with teachers having conversations about what they felt that they needed. I wanted to know how I could support them and giving them a voice to profess their needs was important. The reality that became quite apparent was that they had no idea. The life that they know is that kids have to pass their state assessments along with their district given assessments. They know that they have access to computer labs and carts on occasion but they have no idea that kids can do anything beyond the practice websites that the state provides.
What teachers do know is that everyday there is a new directive or a new program. They go to trainings as required and leave those trainings without understanding where and how to implement what they’ve learned. Everyday becomes no different than the last because in the middle of everyone demanding the blind to have sight, no one is there to lead the charge daily…on campus…IN CLASSROOMS…where it counts.
This journey is not about introducing the “next great app” or the devices that are already scarce. It’s about empowering teachers to learn about the “world outside of the box” and then think there.
Change doesn’t happen overnight but through intentional action and sustainable support, this entire school will get there.
One idea at a time…