This day seemed to fly by, I have yet to decide if I was really working that hard, having that much fun or just not keeping track of time well. Each time I looked up it was like 2 more hours had passed…
What I learned today:
- When a teammate surprises me by coming to visit and work my day goes better! Thanks Tami! (Inspiration stems from collaboration for me)
- Conversations, coaching, ideas are always better when there is more than one mind thinking it through… (in my opinion)
- I need to learn more about the politics of education, like when is the best time to push the envelope.
- Digital Promise coaches left some informative feedback for OKCPS and I look forward to seeing it put into action!
- The baked potato soup was pretty good at lunch, I had expected better but it was still okay… We went to Slaughter’s Hall that I keep calling Slaughter House (Issues….)
- I work with truly awesome people!! The fact we can “keep it real” is priceless.
- Stress is not necessary when writing a blog post for our team, looking forward to it being pubished in the next day or two… I love Google Drawings!
- Our ILI (Innovative Learning Institute) team is awesome and is coming together piece by piece.
- “1:1 is not One Size Fits All” is going to be an awesome session at ILI!
- Taking notes and using agendas is a skill I need to improve on.
- Using my meetings as idea jump points is great, since now I am planning to work with Kenzie on student online trackers (Google Sheets) and Susan on online bootcamp packets (Pdfs & annotating w/Kami) next week!
- I am lucky to get to work with leaders like my boss/administrator and my principal, great people, great conversations, and true professionals who care about our students and where education is going!
- The Swiss Army rolling bag/briefcase I received today is ahhhhmazing!
- My son has too much and is overly dependent on technology! I told him no iPad tonight at bed and he informed me that his mind/brain is lost without it. Then as I write this he is defending the learning aspects of YouTube Kidsand how important it is to him, and it is the best thing he has ever had ” in his whole entire life” “it helps me learn, science, math, reading, social studies, spelling, it helps me, laughing, having fun…” and it continues…
- I really like and see the value in You Tube Kids, probably 10 times more valuable than regular You Tube for kids but just not tonight for my son….
I was 25 when I had my son, not incredibly young and I have a younger brother and sister but I had no idea the work my parents must have had to put in…. I need like some serious parenting PD….My son is too smart for his own good and mine if we are really being honest here….
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)
Fall break started Monday but I have been teaching intersession, (w/an “s” not “c”and I don’t know why) the last three days and it’s been good. The concept of intersession is that students who need remediation and more one on one teacher time get it and for the most part I think that is what happens. It surprises me how many kids want to come to school when we’re on break but for some of them it’s guaranteed food for a few more days, probably should save that for another post… anyway I teach science and I actually started Monday thinking I was doing a Biology EOI boot camp and ended up w/my 8th graders doing science which is my teaching assignment 4 of 5 classes 🙂 I love my middle school students! They want to learn if you excite them… it amazes me how some things you say or how you say them catch their attention and they bite! We did the “chemistry in the bag” experiment where Call (damp rid) is mixed in water containing phenol red indicator and then you add baking soda which is super exciting because it cools off, bubbles and turns yellow! I go on to explain that the yellow signifies an acid is formed. So once I say “acid” a student in class/session ask, will it burn me now or why isn’t the baggie melting… awesome questions right? It leads into explaining that acids can be strong or weak like lemon juice and coke… anyways it’s a nice segway into the pH scale etc and a hands on demo for kids to better understand chemical and physical changes. I think what excites me most some days is that the questions are in our kids/students and it truly needs to be our goal to push them to inquire! I light up when i have question after question and the students are beginning to understand something and as they get it they help to answer other students’ questions, love it! 🙂
**** A separate topic but one worth mentioning was one if my 8th graders who passer the state exam in Science was in class today and I asked him what he thought helped him to be successful and he proceeded to explain he thought he did horrible on the 8th Science test last year because it involved too much thinking. So of course I prodded and wanted to know what that meant because duh it’s a test, you need to think! Anyway he explained that you are asked to look at one graph here, then read something, then go back and connect how they come together and it was more work than a single question should be… wow! So it is critical thinking, but how do I get them to want to solve the question, really dig in and show the “state” what they know. Something to consider for a future post… *****
Overall intersession was great, I’m looking forward to a few days off and maybe a few more blog posts, this is my 1st!! I did it!