A great post for reflection came from Utech Tips this week entitled "Putting the I in change." Jeff talks about how very often we want our kids and colleagues to change with little-to-no whining. But do we do the same? Do we gracefully accept change?
One thing I vowed when I left the classroom was to never forget what it was like to be a general education teacher. I think that all too often, people in the "Administrative Offices" or "Central Office" forget about what life is like in the classroom. Maybe we don't forget what it's like, but we don't promote our desired change with the appropriate tact to let the change slowly sink in and cause the least amount of anxiety possible (see hype over Office 2007, which I'm dealing with now). Last year I anxiously and excitedly shared web 2.0 tools such as Google Docs and Twitter with my tech group. But Google Docs, while great, isn't necessary in our district (we have a Sharepoint portal set up) and Twitter, while my favorite tool OF ALL TIME, isn't as appealing to our classroom teachers for various reasons, many of which I understand. So this year I'm doing what I can to ponder, "How will this be perceived by the people listening?" Does this mean I shelve a demo of the latest technology tool? Absolutely not. But I, like you, have to make sure I'm presenting it in a way that shows teachers how it's going to improve what they are already doing in their classroom and/or make their lives easier. Their time is too valuable to waste. Our time is too valuable to waste. Yes, some tools do need to be experimented with first...I'm specifically concerned about large group rollouts. The technology has to be transparent (great point brought up again to me by Katie Morrow) with the curriculum. For our district, our main focus should be our standards. It's what's most important to us as a curriculum department. But it's also important for us to show that, within our curriculum, we can easily attain many of the ISTE Standards and give our students an education that will make them productive in the 21st Century.