- Wait, I coulda sworn that was right. Why isn't it matching?
- Huh? How'd you get that?
- OHHH DAAAAAAAYUMMMMM, I GOT ALL OF 'EM RIGHT!
- Let me see your screen. My answers must be off.
Two years ago, I was making casual rounds at RCHS and walked into Jeff's room to strike up a conversation. He was genuinely interested in using technology but didn't know how. It seemed like he wanted to integrate tech, yet had a system that worked and had been working for years.
Have you been there? Are you there now?
During our summer school prep training, he heard the directive that it was OK to try new ideas and experiment; that's all it took. This teacher immediately got interested in Kahoot, flipping his classroom, and using Google Forms. It didn't take long before Jeff and I were engaging in conversations about putting all of this together in a way that would make his life easier, and the tweet you see above is a direct sign of proof that it's working.
Students in his class are watching a video that's 4-7 minutes long, then coming in a working on Desmos to collaborate and work with the content. He's using Google Forms. To be honest, he needs to start blogging and presenting about his journey.
When I asked him about what made him turn the corner, he said that "you gotta hit rock bottom. I was buried with doing things the same way and it was too much. I got the directive from (our summer school coordinator) and that was it. I'm never going back to the old way; I can't."
Rock bottom can mean a lot of things for a lot of different people, but his version was being so stagnant in growth until he rebounded and found inspiration in the form of Desmos, Chromebooks, and the desire to get kids talking more in class.
If you're in a role similar to mine, I hope you can help others rebound from their rock bottom. If you're in the classroom, reach out; there is a whole world of support to help you get where you want to be.
Happy "Rock Bottom" Fishing
As an aside, this same teacher has been contributing a lot of his work to the Desmos Bank. Go to bit.ly/desmosbank and search Jelus in the author section.