I have been waiting for the reality of my new job to set in. I think I'm about 50% there. I am an instructional resource teacher with a focus on Science K - 12 in our new 'Program and Innovation' department. After 11 years in the classroom this is a big change for me. My 3 minute drive to work has transformed into long drives in the country as I move from school to school. I have enjoyed the extra time for quiet reflection and the opportunity to catch up on the backlog of podcasts waiting patiently on my iPod.
While I have not started supporting teachers in collaborative inquiries yet I have had a chance to visit a number of schools across the county to support teachers as they learn to access and use their GAFE accounts. My incredible team has gone beyond the call of duty to reach out and answer teachers' requests for help by organizing after school "GAFE Cafes" at about 15 locations across the school board as well as 'lunch and learn' sessions in nearly every secondary school. Teachers have responded with "Thank you. More, please!" as they get a taste of what GAFE has to offer them. Together with the new training I have received and my self-directed quest to have a deeper understanding of the GAFE, iPad apps, and Microsoft resources available to our teachers and students my brain is left aching at the end of each day. For the most part it is a happy ache.
This week I had the pleasure of visiting one of our secondary schools to see BYOD in action. All Grade 9 students at the school are BYOD this year. I learned a great deal about the logistics involved: device charging, log-in lags, wifi limitations, cross-platform problems, etc. The best part of my visit was the opportunity to interact with students. Their honest appraisals of BYOD and willingness to share their learning with us was fantastic and energizing. It wasn't until later that day that I realized what made it even more special. I miss teenagers.
If someone had told me in June that I'd be craving the company of teenagers by October 1st I would have called them crazy. It's not crazy, though. I miss my classroom. I miss face-to-face connections with students. I miss the 'Wow!" moments in science class. (Btw have you seen this STEM teacher recruitment video? I love it: http://blowmindsteachstem.com/)
I can't wait to visit more classrooms and have contact with students. I also can't wait to get back into my own classroom when my two year secondment ends. This is a wonderful feeling because it is an affirmation of my decision to enter this profession. Students are at the centre of what we do.
I am grateful to have an incredible two-year learning journey ahead of me and delighted that I will have the chance to work with a large number of teachers and students. The thought of the classroom that awaits me at the end of this journey will keep me focused on what is important. Missing teenagers this week is what prompted me to write this blog post. It is as if I have found my muse.
I need to end this post by putting a blogging goal in writing (because I know that will help me stay on track). My goal is to write an average of once each week until the end of my secondment. I reserve the right to blog about knitting, camping, road trips, quilting, or other such matter during the summer. (Just saying...)
If you have read this far I am humbled. Thank you.