So…long time no see…Life has been especially hectic for me the past year. There have been several changes behind the scenes, and now a big one on the forefront of my career. Beginning Wednesday of next week, for the first time in my educational career, I will be embarking on a journey that doesn’t involve a classroom of students directly in front of me. After 8 August “first days of school” I will be transitioning out of my 7th grade classroom and into the position of Director of Technology and Science for my district. This presents a few challenges:
- Lowered student interaction – While I’ve been told that the ideal amount of time out in the schools will be high, I will be visiting classrooms across all 17 schools in our district. That means the connections I’ve been able to make with students the past eight years will be limited to occasional interactions. Telling the students this past week was very difficult, because leaving in the middle of the school year is incredible unusual.
- Job Expectations – When I began my career in a 7th grade classroom, I kind of knew what to expect. I would be in front of a room of twenty-five or so 12 and 13 year olds, I would likely know more than them, and (show of hands, how many never felt like this?) if I didn’t know more than them, I could just make it up. Oh, and then there was the fact that I knew if I could be just slightly funny to a 12 year old, I could get them to like me. Enter thousands of situations where I convinced them I was just “one step crazier” than they were, and it didn’t take long for me to have 7th graders figured out. This made integrating technology pretty easy as my relationship with the students was the foundation of all my other endeavors. Now as the lead Tech and Science teacher for the county, I’m going to be responsible for building relationships with many other adults throughout the county. I’m sure they will be much less easy to win over than my groups of early adolescents. But, I’m convinced, even in this situation building those relationships will be a positive toward moving forward for our county in the future.
- Picking up some pieces, and moving forward – This job does not come without a few things that are obviously going to need to be attempted early on. Part of my job will be developing the vision for Carteret County Schools moving forward throughout the next few years. Early on, I want to get into the schools, get a view of what they are currently being successful with, and where they need to go. Some of our schools have both a Media Coordinator and a Technology Facilitator, others have a single individual serving both purposes. Our district has had a tendency in the past to jump on a few bandwagons, and perhaps wound up purchasing things that in reality didn’t serve their intended purposes. My job will be to develop a plan for those kinds of purchases, so we don’t find ourselves with a set of equipment that is suddenly outdated, under-utilized, and laughably unnecessary.
So there you go…a few of my reservations heading into an exciting new adventure. This is a big move, but one I feel like will be a fantastic journey over the coming years. I’ll definitely be leaning on some of you over the course of the next few months as I get my feet wet and encounter some of the challenges I know I’ll be facing.