April 28, 2013
It has been easy for me to get bogged down in “teacher” mode and get stuck in a rut delivering content. One of the best things that has happened to me in the last year was being given the opportunity to teach an online course, because I have become a student again! How have I become a student? Well, I was a particularly odd choice to be summoned up into the elearning ranks. I know very little about technology. I only had an old (outdated) hotmail email and facebook page. I didn’t own what I called a “jumpy stick” and didn’t even copy and paste. I’m sure a few eyeballs rolled when I was given this opportunity.
Now, as a student, I’m learning how to use programs, I’m signing up for applications, I’m learning how to embed links, I’m maniuplating the technology like I never have before. This has created an excitement in me for teaching and learning that has seemed to wane in recent years. It makes me want to be a better teacher! I started using a google page for my class. Do you realize I have NEVER made a powerpoint presentation? Seriously. I used a SMARTboard for the first time in my career. I started making screen recordings to help students learn how to do things. I have found a new excitement for me in the classroom. I now eagerly search the web for programs that can help me. I read articles about how other teachers have used technology in their classrooms. I want to show my students what can be done. (Now granted, many of them know more than me!)
It has been hard work. Much much harder than I anticipated. It annoys me when other staff think I have an extra prep period because they see me in my class with no students “just sitting at the computer”. The truth is, I’m at the computer WORKING! And, I go home and spend many more hours trying to hone my skills and finding ways to engage my students. (some of whom are 600 km away!) I have become a revitalized teacher in the past 2 years. I have become a teacher who is also a student. The excitement for learning in me I can pass to my students. By challenging me, putting me out of my comfort zone, I remembered a valuable lesson I thought I had lost : the learning never stops.