Monday, February 15, 2016

The Importance of Team

Throughout my 11 year teaching career I have had the privilege of being a part of some amazing teams of teachers.  Without doubt, I can say that I was able to grow into a successful teacher because of the team minded individuals that I worked with, and I use the term individuals carefully.  Now as an Instructional Technology Facilitator I am a part of an excellent team as well.

So what is a "team" and what is the importance of this so called "team" in education?

In any team sport individuals bring their talents and expertise to the table, each having something valuable to add.  Without the particular expertise of the individual, the group as a whole could not collectively function to achieve the goal.  In other words, a football team could not function with a team full of quarterbacks, and a basketball team could not function with a team full of point guards.  Each person on the team adds something valuable and brings a unique skill set to the field or court.  It is up to the individual to sharpen their skills and utilize them in the way that best supports and builds up the team.

This is the same in education.  Each person in a grade level, each grade level in a school, each school in a district, and each department of that district act as a smaller part of a larger team.  Each individual holds a different skill set and expertise to bring to the table.  Building a team minded atmosphere in a school builds capacity among teachers.  Where one may fall short, another member of the team is there to build them up or support them.  Teammates should never be in competition with one another, instead they are working together to achieve the same goal. In education, that main goal is bringing each individual student to the brightest possible future and to reach their fullest potential.

As an ITF, I too, am a part of this team.  I hold a different skill set, but still rely on the expertise of classroom teachers, other coaches and administrators.  It is important to recognize and celebrate the differences and individual talents, and at the same time bring individuals and their talents together.   When it comes to the effective integration and utilization of digital resources in the classroom it is important to share what has worked and what has not.  Growing together with the ever changing resources is pivotal to the success of our students.

Think of something you are amazing think how amazing that would be when teamed with the amazing talents of those around you!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Personal, Professional, Classroom, Student

I have adopted the philosophy and shared vision of my Digital Teaching and Learning Team that the things we learn personally impact our professional lives.  As educators, our professional lives impact our classrooms and our classroom environment and culture, most importantly, impacts our students.

This philosophy is being shared and carried out through the learning that is taking place with our #PDChallenge, a professional development resource designed for teachers to explore digital resources at their own pace.

While working with teachers to implement the "Challenges" into their classrooms I am often asked of teachers if they have used the challenge in the "right" way.  My response is always that the #PDChallenge is designed for them to gain the most learning through using the resources personally.  I then share our vision of Personal > Professional > Classroom > Student.

In order for digital learning to be implemented seamlessly we first have to make its use personal.