Third Week Reflection
I sit here with my students and write. We all are reflecting on our first three weeks of school. The clickity-clatter of their iPads’ keyboard makes us aware that something actually did happen in the last three weeks and we all want to share. Faces illuminate from from the reflections; memories and screens alike. Fingers tap, flick, and bounce.
We are off to a good start. Rocky. Slow(er). But a good start. This year we’ve introduced 1:1 iPads in our fifth and sixth grade classrooms. This was made possible from a 21st Century EdTech grant. As a teachers and the project director and instructional coach in and for the grant, I can’t help but feel overwhelmed and under qualified for the responsibility that I now take on.
Then, at the peak of my disbelief I fell into a conversation had by many of my online colleagues, PLNers, regarding the effectiveness of the iPad versus a laptop/netbook in the classroom. All sides of the disucssion had valid arguments and all convinced me that I was right and wrong for choosing the learning device I did. What will the implications be on the rest of the year if I didn’t make the right choice? I can’t return them now.
And then I throw a whole new model of classroom instruction/environment/engagement on top of all this; but not only for me, for four other teachers as well. While we agree on the premise of inquiry-based learning and the importance of student-directed, student-owned learning, we are all in different places on how this all looks and works in the classroom. As the “head” of this grant team, do I allow for autonomy in this area or do we need commonality to provide consistent data and research when we report back to the State and Federal Government? There are so many questions I need answered and so many answers that need more questioning.
I struggle with being a teacher and a teacher’s teacher. I want to provide all the support I can to my team, but I also feel that my students are a huge priority. Do I step out to put out small fires here or there or do I tell my team they need to wait until I’m out of the classroom? My team is on different levels of techiness and they all want different PD at different times for different resources and tools. I’m waiting for the migraine that actually does cause my head to exploded. I’ll make sure to post that to YouTube and Vimeo and Animoto and and and and and. There are so many ands at this point, I don’t know how to even start, let alone where to start.
But I will survive. I’ll come out on top and I will love every last minute of it.
So, room 16, you’re why I do this all, day in and day out. Don’t forget that.
So, Julie and kiddos, you’re why I do this for my school, for our community. I see potential. But we can still improve. And if I don’t do it, then who?