"Creative" Reactions- June 20, 2019
I woke up this morning on fire. I had an interview at a great school and I was more than ready to share my creativity, passion and innovation with the panel. I spent the last hour before my interview reviewing the school's website and even coming up with hashtags to share with them for their social media. I even had my suit coordinated with their school colors!
I was empowered, excited and energetic- and I needed that feeling!
The past few months have been a little challenging. In March, I found out I was being destaffed to half time at my current school and would be working at another school half time. To further complicate matters, the second school is farther from my home and both schools expect me to teach on the master schedule for a big chunk of my 20 hrs and work on the website.
Now, don't get me wrong- I love working with students. In fact I have learned so much from working with my students in the past year. But this year, teaching on the master schedule constituted about 25% of my time and as I reviewed my "new proposed schedule," it would be the majority of my time.
Jake Miller shares often on his podcast that E+R=O (Event+Reaction= Outcome)
This has been what I have been struggling with. The event of being destaffed- what kind of reaction could lead to the outcome I wanted. This led me to think about what outcome I truly want professionally.
What is my career goal?
What do I want my impact to be?
How can I empower others like so many have empowered me?
These questions floating around in my mind have been influenced and framed by several books that I have read recently. My Amazon wish list is long and so book by book, I chip away at all the inspirational books I can find the time to read. The latest book I just finished has really resonated with me and I believe it will resonate with you too.
Educated by Design by Rabbi Michael Cohen-"The Tech Rabbi"
I just finished this book today and I can't explain how profoundly it has affected me. It has really made me reflect on how I view creativity, collaboration and what innovation is.
Innovation doesn't come from skill or knowledge alone; it comes from belief- belief in yourself, belief in others, and belief in something bigger than all of us. (EBD p.4)
From those early words in this book I was hooked. I have always thought of myself as a creative person- I love learning new things and taking risks to help my students learn the best ways possible. That is what led me to getting my Masters in Technology, seeing how it empowered my students. Technology gave my students even back in 2002 new tools, new opportunities.
Now, in 2019, technology advances continue to give students even more opportunities. Students can collaborate using Google Docs, Slides and more. Students can communicate globally using tools like Flipgrid. Students can also have immersive experiences with AR and VR. There are endless possibilities!
Technology is not about the device; it is about what you can do with it. (EBD, p.7)
So as I sat down at my interview this morning, these words echoed in my mind:
As a School Based Technology Specialist, how can I leverage technology in such a way to help both teachers and students to take learning past the classroom walls and innovate? How can I help both teachers and students be creative, communicate with others effectively, apply critical thinking skills and collaborate?
As I shared in my interview, sure, I have lots of ideas, but education is no longer a closed door enterprise, but a collaborative design experience. With Twitter chats, edCamps, conferences and other social media advances, educators are and should be connected like never before. I know how much it has benefited me and opened up many new doors. My ideas are just one of many that will ultimately lead to student success.
Collaboration is about building on the ideas of others and seeing those ideas as critical to the collective success and outcome of the group's efforts. (EBD, p.99)
That led me to a very important revelation- I want to be part of such "collaboration"- I want to build on the ideas of others and work collectively for the benefit of my students. Had I done that this past year? Maybe- but I wanted more- more of a chance to work with other teachers, build on success, reflect and pivot. Could I do that teaching on the master schedule- if I did, how could I involve other SBTS to collaborate with me? Or did I need to take a leap of faith and try something new? Which should be my reaction- how would it affect my outcome? That reaction is still a work in progress- a update waiting to happen.
Technology shows us, on a daily basis, that there is no complete or done, there is only an update. (EBD, p.156)
In a few days, I head to #ISTE19- I am full of excitement- after all, I not only will have the opportunity to learn and grow with other like-minded educators, but meet some of my #eduheroes in real life. I look forward to collaborating and building my #PLN. As I interact with other educators in their own journeys, I hope that my experiences and reflections will help me to "update" my reaction, and therefore, my outcome.