So, as I’ve mentioned before, this will be my 10th year in education. Along the way, I’ve gotten pretty good at using technology in my class and often I was one of a few “go-to” people on my campus for tech help. My administrators were also pushing me to get my master’s degree like many other teachers in our district in technology or leadership. They thought I’d be a wonderful teacher coach, and I needed my master’s to qualify. No offense to all the admin out there- but I had no desire to go into leadership as a principal or assistant in my future! I also couldn’t make myself pay for a degree in technology when I can teach myself those things. (A teacher coach is someone on campus who is a liaison, partner, mentor, and so much more for the teachers!) I really did start to entertain the idea of having this job one day with a few hang-ups:
I’m all science. I love it- I geek out on it- I have every nerdy science shirt, pin, and cat meme!
I did not feel like I could successfully co-teach, lead, or help an English teacher in any way other than with technology! So I happily kept my role as tech-help with the occasional presentation at campus meeting days.
Fast forward to last year- my family moved to Texas, in a district where you do not need a master’s to be a teacher coach, and there is a position that exists called the “learning technology coach”. SAY WHAT?! Sign me up!! I started paying closer attention to what that job entailed and started tweeting and following more educators on twitter. (OMG the professional development and amazing community of educators on twitter- WOW!)
A job actually opened up for this coming year and I applied, despite having just moved here. A few teachers told me “don’t expect to get it, this is your first year in the district”. Oh but idealistic, Mrs. Positive me said- “we’ll see”! Well I didn’t get it. I was pretty upset at first thinking of what I could have said wrong in the interview and thinking of all the plans I had if I got the job. (I made it all the way to the interview stage.) But something shifted in me and I was only sad for a second.
See, I had just gotten news that day that I would move from teaching mostly 8th grade to teaching only 6th grade (thank you sweet Jesus- I missed my 6th grade kiddos!) All of a sudden, I really was excited to teach my 6th graders. After my “first year” in Texas (see previous blog post here), I knew I needed to ramp up my teaching. I decided I would be a leader anyway. I would move forward with my technology plans anyway. I didn’t need the title to hold parent tech nights. I didn’t need the title to earn digital badges and become certified in all.the.apps.and.things! I made a conscious decision to be a leader on campus and spread positive change despite “just being a teacher”. I downloaded some ebooks -first one I read was Empower by A.J. Juliani and John Spencer which made me tear up at the end and re-empowered me. (See full review here) I attended #notatiste (notatiste.com) because I wasn’t actually at the coolest tech conference around. I even learned how to make this snazzy digital badge for my digital attendance!
Fast forward to today! Long story short, another learning technology coach position opened and I was called to accept the job! I was literally jumping for joy and crying happy tears around my house. (Can you tell I’m an emotional one?) I was a smidge sad about not having my 6th grade kids next year. BUT I DID say this year would be my first of intentional leadership- little did I know how true that would be.
– In what ways will you be an INTENTIONAL LEADER
on your campus this year?
Comment below or tweet @mrslacysmith #firstyeareveryyear