2004 till now! Wow! How my life has changed as an educator... A little time travel my mind has gone on. I've changed from...
- Kindergarten Teacher
- 5th/4th ELA Split Teacher
- 2nd Grade Teacher [Inclusion and Co-Teach]
- 3rd Grade Teacher
- Title I Reading
- Reading Specialist
- Literacy Coach
- Currently: 5th Grade ELA Teacher / Co-Teach
So you can imagine the changes just in positions, states, counties and schools! Everyone has their own way of doing things and their own version. I feel those changes are harder for me because I always have the "I'm new" feeling.
But, in my career as an educator there have been some HUGE changes in instructional resources and tools. But, there have been some things that have never changed like what good instruction really is. I've only improved my instruction over the years with the help of time, resources, tools, approaches, professional development, great mentors and more!
It's pretty simple in my mind, education is just like the rest of the world. It's going to continuously change, but great educators will always give great instruction!
A few examples of what instruction HAS NOT CHANGED in my current life:
- Readers Workshop [mini lesson, work period, closing]
- Guided Reading [skill and strategy groups too]
- Conferencing with students
- Variety of lessons to reach all learners on the same standard
- Language Instruction
- Morning Meeting
- Character Lessons
The list can go on. What I mean is, I started out doing these things and I still do them today. I've only improved my craft [or trade] over the years based on everything a variety of experiences. But, what else has made me better was the HUGE change in our world that affected education. Technology!
Think about it, yes we have technology in our schools now that is more sophisticated for students to do research with, learn from and learn with. But technology has improved how we prepare for instruction and how we deliver instruction. I mean I had the printer with the paper that had perforated lines and computer with floppy disks. We didn't use technology to help us prepare our lessons, we did it all by hand.
Here's how technology has helped me with instruction:
- Teachers Pay Teachers
- Google Docs and Drive
- Blogs and Websites
- YouTube and Teacher Channel
- Video Capabilities
- Photographs with phones, tablets, computers
Technology has also changed in the room that helps me deliver my more sophisticated instruction:
- Overhead Projector vs. Document Camera
- Chalkboard vs. Smartboard
- Old Desktop Computer vs. Laptops & Tablets
- Plug In Listening Station vs. Laptops & Tablets
The list can go on and on. I am so grateful for these items in my current classroom that help me deliver instruction and provide a 21st Century Learning environment. But, I am more grateful in the advances of technology that has helped me prepare better lessons for instruction and has helped me learn more about doing my craft better!
Technology has improved in becoming 21st Century Thinkers and Learners:
- Texting! It's like a new language and communication.
- Social Media! It's a new form a written text making critical stances plus using speaking and listening skills.
- Audience! It's larger than just those seats in the classroom!
- Online portfolios!
- Online project presentations!
- Interactive books!
- Voice Recognition software!
- Extended Classroom Communities!
- World-Wide Web!
- It's completely extended beyond the classroom walls!
- Larger collaboration!
and more! Don't be afraid to dive in! Technology is a tool that improves our instruction and students learning!