Today was a good day. I spent the morning discussing “hot topics” for the district with a TLE lead and my awesome ETS team followed by a group pow-wow in the our boss’s office. I truly realize why we work so well as a team, each of us brings our own perspectives, questions, experiences and ideas to the table and the conversations are amazing! I wish people further on up the food chain could hear us talk sometimes…. honestly we could probably solve a lot of the issues they face! (jus sayin) On to more good stuff!
What I learned today:
- There are too many sites and programs and tools out there (this is great for competition and increasing effectiveness of these tools but….)
- I really want to know who makes decisions in our district to buy things like programs, software, etc…. (this is probably not my business but I am curious and would love to find out)
- The teachers at John Marshall Mid-High in OKC love their students and are like family (ya there are some odd balls in our group but they choose that life) #bearsdoitbetter
- Paperwork is necessary but sometimes it is a drag
- Planning a presentation for a conference is trickier than it sounds (I am so a get up and “wing it” kind of gal)
- Wunderlist allows you to e-mail your to-do lists in a check box format for those people not using Wunderlist
- Vocabulary.com has a national leader board of schools! and Individuals (I am so not into English but very into competition, so yes this site is for me too!!)
- #innovatorsmindset is a new hashtag I am going to follow on my TweetDeck!
- A nearby school (Enid, OK) is holding a student and teacher TEDx Talk!? on Saturday 11/14/15 (we want to have one at JM this Spring) so inspiring!
- One amazing teacher #mademyday by telling me that she appreciated my help as a coach and mentor (what?! me?) seriously made me so ecstatic! She is a beyond amazing first year teacher that is destined for greatness and I feel blessed to be along for the ride!
- Laughter is a necessity (even with your boss or bosses)
Dirty dishes are not fun especially dirty dishes that are not rinsed right away…. These can be a tad bit tricky to clean (resistant food) but I do love to eat! (Pork chops, Mac&Cheese, and Carrots for dinner, YUM!)
I’m Back or beginning!
Since creating this site, I have made one post (I was seriously excited about that) but now I am hoping to commit to this, maybe once a week at least (fingers crossed). Well a lot has changed for me in the last few months professionally and it has been amazing, exciting, and taken some brain power! I was a classroom Science teacher at John Marshall (JM) the last 5 years with a focus on middle school kids and I loved it but my passion for technology in my classroom has grown and thus a new position/offer came about and I accepted. I am now an Educational Technology Integration (ETIS) Specialist for Oklahoma City Public Schools and my focus is my home school of John Marshall mid-high serving grades 7-12. My role has changed from serving the students of JM to serving the teachers as an Ed Tech coach specifically focusing on the 1:1 Initiative JM is piloting this year!
The JM 1:1 Initiative
The JM 1:1 initiative began it’s life as a $100,000 donation from Gardner and Tanenbaum, a real estate company who bought the original John Marshall and it’s property to build a new housing community in OKC. As a teacher at JM when we received this donation I was stoked, the goal was to get tech into all our students hands at the 1:1 level asap! We began holding meetings about what to do and how to do it almost immediately after receiving the donation. As the team discussed its options we found out $100,000 was an awesome gift but at the same time not nearly enough for ALL students to have 1:1, so how do we pick and choose who can be involved not wanting to leave anyone out of possible. A few meetings later the plan we are now piloting was created and thus the “Chromebooks in the Classroom Grant” for teachers. Looking at costs and our budget in this first year we were able to purchase 8 Chromebook carts with 30 devices a piece in the carts and now we had to decide what teachers would be participating in this rollout. It was decided that it would be an application process and 8 lucky teachers at JM committed to integrated technology in their classroom at the 1:1 level would receive these carts! The applications went out on July 6th, 2015 and on August 7th we announced 7 of the recipients! Along the way a new position was created in OKCPS for a Tech Coach to be at John Marshall and be integral in implementing these devices, working and coaching these teachers and making this pilot a success.
I am now ETIS…
I interviewed for the position and was chosen as the best candidate to be JM’s tech coach or ETIS! I have never been so excited and scared in my life! I knew what to do as a classroom teacher and actually was awarded teacher of the year 2014-2015 for John Marshall and a top nine finalist for the entire OKCPS district! Which was a great experience and honor for me in only my 5th year as a teacher, thank you to my fellow bears and OKCPS for choosing me. Realizing this, I still knew I wanted to do more with tech and helping my fellow teachers in a greater capacity than I have in the past and was and still am so excited where this new career is going to lead me! In this new position I am now a year-round employee (no summers off) which means I started work on June 16, 2015 and have been super busy since day 1. I began with some overall information/training excited and at the end of June went to ISTE 2015 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania! I have dreamed of going to ISTE since I began using tech in my classroom and it was everything and more! I felt like I was surrounded by everyone who loved ed and tech together and everything that I thoroughly was interested in and wanting to learn about!! (I think I’ll stop here and do a 2015 ISTE reflection sometime soon) Upon coming back to OKC I attended our local Education conference called EngageOK and added a few more tools and ideas to my belt. I worked every weekday this summer trying to plan get things ready for the upcoming year including my office/website, resources all of which I am still working on…. 🙂 The ETS team began the school year by training all New Hires to OKCPS at NTO where I spent a day working with teachers new to the district on how to use their grade book, not the most exciting but definitely important info. I started training w/ our teachers the day before with a mini-training on many of the tools, information and resources that OKCPS and JM have to offer the day before. The teachers reported back to JM on July 29,2015 and it was a welcome back kick off for teachers like none I have seen prior, the principal rolled out the red carpet and made being a teacher at John Marshall the best thing any teacher could want to be!! I took some time that day to introduce myself and give some information about what my new position was and how I could help the teachers, the key point was teacher Ms.G used to try to fix things and now April/Ms. G would no longer be fixing things, my role is to coach, plan and empower our teachers to do amazing things with technology in their classrooms and I wanted them to know that! We had a great convocation with the district the 30th celebrating all staff at OKCPS! Overall I have done a lot, learned a lot, and I am super excited to get to work and plan to update as my learning continues! ( I realize I have so much more share and reflect upon since starting this post, look for more to come)