So I wasn’t going to write a blog post for Leadership Day 2010. The reason was because when I read the whole purpose behind it my thought was, “yeah that is not for me, why the heck would an administrator actually read or care about anything I would have to say.” But I started thinking about my students. School starts back in just a few days and I decided about a week ago my goal for my students this year is to teach them to be leaders, to believe they can make a difference, and mostly to share what they believe in to others. So me thinking I’m not “good enough” or “influential enough” would be somewhat hypocritical. So if only one person reads this, that is OK because I made my statement.
I see all the suggestions for the Leadership Blog and think the idea that keeps coming to mind is that fact that technology is a tool, just that. Teachers need training on how to use that tool. This year my school is splitting up and we are moving to a brand new school. This place has every thing you could imagine. That means nothing if teachers are not aware how to use the new computers, IWBs, computer labs, science labs, etc. It means nothing if these things are used for drilling and only research. We have gained nothing when it comes to the change in the educational system. We cannot use new tools to keep the old ways of teaching. Its a new world. Yes we can use the tools for research, but research for problem solving or for information to create something.
Teachers must be comfortable with these tools. Telling them to drive to other side of town to take a PD class that is not required and could be intimidating is not ideal. Bring it to them. Let them practice in the labs available. Have them practice in there classroom with a specialist or even a mentor to guide them.If you hand a teacher who teaches from worksheet a document camera and no ideas how to use it, it becomes a projector of worksheets. Worksheets are crap, lets not project them into large crap.
Encourage teachers, even if they are taking baby steps, acknowledge the things they did do with their class and then encourage them to take it to the next level. Never in my teaching career (in a public school, private school was very supportive) have I ever had an administrator tell me I did something great. Never told me I was doing something right. Never complimented my students on one of the MANY awesome things they created in my classroom. Two years ago I almost completely stopped using tech in my classroom because of that. Remember how you have to encourage your students, do the same for teachers, they need it.
I could go on and on for days. No I’m not an expert nor would consider myself a leader, but I am in the classroom 180+ days a year and work with others who are as well. Education is changing slowly but surely. Glad I am around to see leaders step up and mold these changes!