Saturday, August 10, 2013

You are more like your students than you think...Training reflections from a sassy techie

After spending a few days training teachers regarding educational technology I came to the conclusion that we, as teachers, are often more like our students than we realize.
  • Some of the teachers were digital immigrants (born before the 1960s), some teachers were digital natives (born after 1960s)...but age was not always an indicator of ease of use with technology.
  • Some teachers were feeling unprepared for the school year and the technology being used.
  • Some teachers were excited about the technology efficiencies they can experience.
  • Some teachers were overwhelmed with information overload.
  • Some teachers were using their technology (phones, laptops, iPads) to be off-task during my presentations.
  • Some teachers felt that they had a gazillion better things to do than listen to what I had to say and suggest.
  • Some teachers hung onto my every word and were researching things I said during my presentation or creating their first form before the 50 minutes was up.
  • Some teachers were busy chatting with the person next to them...sometimes about the presentation and sometimes about what was for lunch.
  • Some teachers were talking under their breath about how they wouldn't be using the ideas I suggested.
  • Some teachers thought they already knew everything about the subject area and this was a waste of their time.
  • Some teachers felt scared by the technology and worried they won't be able to get on board like they should.
  • Some teachers were combative about some of the decisions regarding app and software decisions made by the school.
  • Some teachers were grateful for the ideas.
  • Some teachers were tired from full days of "learning."
  • Some teachers were just waiting for the 50 minutes to be up.
  • Some teachers wanted help after class.

So I walked away from these meetings thinking:

  1. We do the things we complain about regarding our students when we are "students." 
  2. We must model good digital citizenship if we expect our students to be good digital citizens.
  3. In every classroom we have both confident and petrified students.

I leave you with these thoughts:
As this school year progresses, remember what your actions and the actions of the adults around you looked like during in-service. Perhaps this means we need to make our lessons more engaging. Perhaps it means we need to meet one-on-one with the student with a sour look on their face to ascertain what is REALLY going on with this kid. Perhaps it means we need to be more supportive. Perhaps it means occasionally we are all off task and feel exhausted from learning ALL. DAY. LONG...You are more like your students than you think and this is a perfect time for that realization to hit you. Let it sink in, it might just make you a more compassionate teacher for this coming year.