OLW CHECK-IN: EMBRACE

IMG_0007Maybe it was Betsy’s post, OLW Check-in: Note that first brought the whispers.  As I read her post and thought about my final week of school I heard the whispers grow louder.  Embrace. 

The last day for students and teachers in my district was Thursday, May, 31.  My last day was Friday, June, 8. I embraced the extended time. The extra days allowed me to reflect on the year, review notes, celebrate our work together, set goals for next year, compile my summer reading list, and offer professional development to the teachers in our district.  

As I reviewed my notes,  I marveled at the work we did together this year.  The transition from classroom teacher to instructional technology coach was a significant shift for me. I knew the most important step in embracing my new role was about relationships. I reflected on getting to know the staffs of my two buildings and how I worked to learn the grace of supporting students through my work with teachers.

Stepping into a coaching role required sharp listening skills, constant reflection, and intentional decisions.  On the most trying days, I found myself feeling flummoxed between what I know as a classroom teacher and what I was learning about being a coach. But, on the best days, I found myself euphoric with all that is possible through collaboration with teachers.  As a team, we can unfurl and navigate the possibilities to flesh out and lift student voices.

I also embraced this time by building a professional sandbox.  My sandbox is a Google Doc where I will collect articles, blog posts, new apps, and ideas.  As I began building my sandbox I looked back through my notes for possible next steps and goals teachers have shared with me.  Over the next weeks of summer, I plan to dig into the sandbox and explore the apps and ideas. I would like to link student needs, teaching standards, and teacher goals with my sand tools, allowing teachers to envision more of what is feasible with digital tools.

I also spent some time reflecting on the year with the principal of each building and the director of the technology department. In each conversation, separate of the others, each one thanked me for my work this year and my willingness to embrace the challenges of two new buildings, two new staffs, and a position that is ever growing and adapting.  As we spoke, I was pleased to hear how our goals all fell in line. I know next year is going to be strong!

Despite the bracelet on my right arm, I didn’t find my OLW whispering to me until today. “Embrace” seems to be my silent partner.