“Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.” -Brian Tracy
Teachers are a rare breed of human being that can write a nurses’ slip, log onto a student’s MyOn account, and get a student focused in another part of the classroom; all while teaching a mini-lesson. There are over a thousand tasks a teacher must do every day, and on top of that there is always something new to learn. To an outsider, a classroom may seem like a dull place to be. To a teacher, it is a place where creativity and problem solving thrive, and everyone is given an equal opportunity to do something extraordinary.
I was immensely lucky to have landed a job at Drayton Hall Elementary School four years ago. As a first year teacher, getting a job at this school was unheard of because it is one of the top schools in my area. The last two years we have been named an Apple Distinguished school. Thanks to great leadership and collaboration, we were able to earn this title twice in a row. (From what I understand, very few schools have received this award two years in a row.)
Today, at a technology meeting, we discussed where we have been and where we want to go. Since we were a one to one pilot school in our district, we often have guests coming through to observe our integration of iPads, and Apple Tours our school twice every year.
We have teachers: integrating creation apps into their lessons, “mashing apps”, writing iBooks, collaborating with creators of apps, and we even have our own Apple Distinguished Educator. It is hard to imagine a school exceeding our current level of rigor and technology integration. But yet, we must. As my dad and husband (both entrepreneurs) say, “If your not moving forward, your moving backward.”
So we push on. Technology is always advancing, so must our schools. Our newest initiative, is to share projects students have completed on iPads throughout our school and school’s website. Our school is looking forward to a chat using Twitter. And our next goal in mind? 3D printing and a way to display the pieces created using this tool.
We also want to begin utilizing iTunes U courses, and some teachers are even writing their own courses. Possibly flipping our professional development within the school was discussed as well. As a community we must always look toward tomorrow and how we can better reach our students and communicate with each other.
The world is changing. Our students are different than those even four years ago, so we too must evolve.