Next Step in My Career Journey
Only a year ago I chose to take the job of Admin Curriculum/Technology Integrator for the Rye School District in Rye, NH. It was a great career move in that it allowed me to dig deeper into curriculum and expanded my teaching into the middle school level. Once again I find myself in the same predicament only one school year later.
I have decided to return to the York School Department in York, Maine to fullfil a career goal as a member of the central office admin team. On July 1st, I will take on the role of the Coordinator of Instructional Media and Technology Services for the York School Department. It's a big job, and I have to admit that I am feeling just a little bit overwhelmed, as now I have expanded to K - 12 and will help to support the entire library, media and technology services, budget, and personnel for the entire school district.
Whenever a new opportunity comes up, you have to weigh out the pros and cons of leaving one job and embarking on a new adventure. This time it truly was a no brainer for me, as it matched my career goals, places me closer to home and family and once again allows me to join an outstanding team that I already know and love.
It is with mixed emotions that I leave the Rye School District after only one year, as I have already made some good friends and will miss working with close colleagues. However, it is wonderful in that the world we live in today will allow us all to stay in communication with one another even though we are no longer seeing each other face-to-face on a daily basis. Collaboration and communication has never been easier, and I truly look forward to staying in touch and helping out in any way that I can from afar (it is only just across the river after all).
This transition also makes me reflect on how best to support learners across the entire spectrum. I have always, and still do, believe that every learner is different and must have chances to learn from a number of varieties to support their needs. For this reason, I have always tried to attack professional development from several different angles. Using text and multi-media to publish a monthly eNewsletter, weekly blog posts and up-to-date website resources for teachers and students to allow for self-reflection and insight into new trends in education and technology, or producing video tutorials for visual learners for Just-in-Time learning and/or problem solving, can all be used immediately upon publication or archived for when the learner has more time (i.e. summertime). I have also found it wise not to neglect the face-to-face trainings with large groups, smaller groups and of course the 1:1 scenario for independent learning.
Every learner, whether it be an early elementary student, or a long time tenured professional, have different learning styles, different gaps in their knowledge and unique ways in which they get enthusiastic about learning new content. This is what makes education challenging and yet fun! Challenges like these help us get creative and really get to the heart of why we all got into teaching in the first place. It's that feeling you get when a learner gets that twinkle in their eye when they finally understand a concept or have grasped that skill. The "Aha!" moment we all strive for with every student in our class.
I for one will take this summer to reflect on what has worked for me in the past and what I still need to improve on for the future. It will also be a great time to collaborate with other colleagues that I have added to my professional learning network to gain insight and advice about moving forward with supporting technology, curriculum and library/media resources. This is the time of year that I use to rejuvenate, energize and plan out what I can accomplish for the next school year. I hope this summer finds you all well and please reach out to me for anything.
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Educational games for kids.
Is there chemistry in the kitchen? Is there physics at the park? Videos and interactives will help students discover the real-world science around them and make connections to what they are learning in school. There is something for everyone!
New Links for Teachers
"How to" video links for teachers.
Most adults can’t imagine typing anything more than a few words at a time on a virtual keyboard, but with practice, is it really any worse than a traditional keyboard?
Enter a new breed of educational apps that aim to re-engage those same students via the smartphones that distract them. These student response apps run on students’ personal smartphones to turn class lectures into a two-way dialogue. Students can use the apps to participate in class lectures, discussions and even competitions, all without looking up from their phones.
"There is now your insular city of Manhattoes, belted round as wharves as Indian isles by coral reefs -- commerce surrounds it with her surf. Right and left, the streets take you waterward. Its extreme downtown is the Battery, where that noble mole is washed by waves, and cooled by breezes, which a few hours previous were out of sight of land. Look at the crowds of water-gazers there. - Moby-Dick, Herman Melville
Grammar is the one of the most important aspect of teaching and learning a language. It is also one of the more difficult aspects to teach well and motivate students to learn. Today, I would like to share some technology enhanced tools for practicing grammar.
A list By Michelle Vance, Ontario Local Schools, that showcases some best practices when using these technologies in the classroom.
Many novices do not realize the implications of a speech delay on a child's development. The iPad has opened many doors for children because of its multidisciplinary approach and its evidence-based practice. There are apps for almost every speech classification. Here is a list of different apps for a variety of speech disabilities.
Money as You Grow will help equip kids with the knowledge they need to live fiscally fit lives. The lessons in Money as You Grow are based on more than a year of research, and drawn from dozens of standards, curricula, and academic studies.
Sure, there is a lot to do this time year, and students have started counting down the hours left before vacation -- and for many teachers, we are counting down the days. In my view, this is the best time for reflection about what we can do to make next year even better than this year.
Feeling overwhelmed by the sheer volume of dense information out there about the Common Core State Standards (CCSS)? You're not alone. Here's Edutopia's guide to resources that will help you make sense of the initiative and join the conversation.
GeoGuessr is an addictive geography game that has become quite popular since its launch earlier this year. Now you can create your own GeoGuessr game by using GeoSettr.
Sometimes the best way to understand what engineers do is to try your hand at it! The following are links to several engineering games on the internet to give you a first hand try at the problem solving skills engineers employ every day!
Building Language for Literacy is the definitive early literacy program that equips young children with the critical language and literacy skills and experiences they need to build the foundation for success in reading.
Create simple sketches or complex infographics using shapes, texts and mark-up tools. Visualize any data and share it with others
When you're trying to teach people how to do something new on their computers having screencast videos or annotated screen capture images can be invaluable to you and the people you're trying to help. Here are some free tools that you can use to create screen capture videos and images.
Spotlighting great books for kids and teens.
From the art world to the zoo, from underwater to outer space, from current problems to future solutions, your students will have the freedom to explore their interests and make connections across subjects. They’ll develop skills and enhance their learning through discovery, while earning digital badges as credentials along the way.