Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Why Not Us? - Part 1: Get Motivated

"Always be a first rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of someone else." 
~Judy Garland

I recently attended a technology conference in Albany. It's purpose was to inform and inspire schools about technology and innovation.  The conference format allowed you to select from several different presenters during three separate sessions. The presenters at the sessions I attended were classroom teachers from schools around the area. They shared technologies and techniques that they were using in their rooms. In the afternoon, I was a member of a round table discussion about using Google Apps for Education.

During the afternoon discussion, I inquired how other districts were teaching students about using technology. I heard great things about designing technology curriculum and what others found were good to teach and in what order. After I heard a few responses I asked when do they start this kind of instruction. Most were middle school and a few were high school. When I informed them that what they described was what I was teaching this year to 3rd graders, they responded with silence. 

I went to the conference expecting to learn, think, and dream of our potential as a district. The reality is I came away frustrated. I wasn't frustrated by what everyone else was doing, I was frustrated by where we stand.  I saw over and over again is that everybody else is doing things that we're already doing, what we've already tried, or that we could do better. We are at the forefront, the very leading edge of what everybody else is pursuing, and we don't even know it. Have you ever watched these videos that are shared at PD's and conferences and wonder why that is not us up there? We do great things, YOU do great things. Last year our administration told us our motto would be, "Expect Excellence". We should "Expect Excellence" from our students, our co-workers, and ourselves. We need to go a step further, don't just expect excellence; achieve it.

Over the course of the next few posts, I am going to show you where we stand using technology and how we can move forward. I will shoot down all of your arguments about time, lack of resources, or the abilities of the students. This is my eleventh year teaching here. I know the kids, I know the community, I know the challenges we face. I also know the incredible people I work with and I see the dedication and determination in you all. I also see the potential that you possess. I see the potential WE possess. 

We are better than every district around us. We are leaders, its time to show it.

1 comment:

Anthony Taibi said...

Last year our motto of "Expect Excellence" was new, as we began this year we emphasized "Expect Excellence - All Students Achieve, No Excuses" and we looked at many of the examples of how we embody excellence in everything that we do. There are so many positive examples of how we are at the forefront, we just need to continue to look for opportunities to showcase that. I have always ejoyed the Technology Awareness Day and think going forward, this would be a great opportunitiy to present some of what we do.