Just Be Flexible

This year we have moved from weekly scheduled “computer” classes to a more fluid, flexible schedule allowing teachers to have me and the laptops in their room on an as needed, in the moment basis. This is a change for some teachers who are used to having that time carved out in their weekly schedule because they at least knew their students were “getting technology” on a regular basis, albeit weekly. For others, this was not unwelcome, as they were used to collaborating with me on projects and having more time working together. For most, it was a little bit of both: distress at what they felt was a loss of a prep time as well as something added that they now “had to do;” and an exciting yet uncertain time when they thought of the possibilities and potential of having laptops at their (almost) disposal.

Before I had a set schedule and saw all 18 classes each week. Now I have a shared calendar that the teachers use to sign up for my time, so some days I see just a couple of classes and other days I am busy going from class to class from 9-3. Before I knew what I would be doing each day of each week. Now, each day of each week is different. Before, I had my own agenda and taught what I wanted, how I wanted to teach it. (please note: I used our curriculum maps to make what I taught relevant to what they students were learning in their class but when I wanted the students to create How to Videos, for instance, I did). Now, I sit with the teachers and we plan together. Before, I taught the children in the lab and the teachers stayed in their room. Now I go into the classrooms and sometimes I am teaching and the classroom teacher is assisting, and other times the classroom teacher is leading the lesson and I am assisting. Before, it was just me. Now it is “we.” Before it was mine. Now it is ours. I suppose this is part of being flexible. So far, so good.

This is a work in progress. I am learning and questioning everyday about integrating technology in a way that enhances and extends the learning, is fun and engaging for the students and is not going to be difficult for the teachers to manage.