With that being said, there are plenty of approaches that I could take as a new educational technology coach for the district. My goals are to keep myself humble and honest, work hard for every teacher in the district and, above all else, improve the opportunities for student success.
I hope I always miss the classroom. It may have been a mistake, but one of the first things that I did when getting to my old site was walking into the classroom that my students poured into for four months. It didn't bring tears, but it certainly made me reflect (heck, it's why I'm writing this right now). Much like a movie flashback, I immediately recalled students coming in with every different story and reaction I could imagine. From making the soccer team to wondering what the agenda was to asking to go to the bathroom, it was powerful to stand in room 203 and allow that to sink in. I hope I always have that feeling of wanting my own classroom again.
I hope I always help teachers celebrate the small victories. Even from the onset of technology integration, it has been fun to help teachers get accustomed to using tech their way at their pace. This was so true today. My partner and I walked around my former site and introduced ourselves to the staff and asked if there were any burning tech questions that could get answered on the spot. Many people passed, some asked when we were getting Doceri or better speakers, but a few asked some rewarding questions. How can I use Doctopus? Woohoo! Can you help me set up my Remind101 account? Sure thing! How can I use the iPad for a math classroom? This is when I get REALLY excited. It didn't matter what the question was; there were plenty of teachers who were willing and ready to ask for support. As time goes on, I hope that I will always cherish those small conversations and victories along the way.
I hope I always remember that there is something to learn. Here I am, district tech coach, one of the guys who can come and help you with anything you need for tech integration in your classroom. And then, it happens... I don't know the answer to a question. The weird part? I enjoyed it. "I'll look into it and get back to you before the end of the week" has never been a more pleasant response. This new role will force me to push my knowledge of technology along with good pedagogy. I don't want to leave a classroom knowing that I could've done more. Hopefully my mindset will always be that my knowledge of technology, and good teaching strategies in general, will forever be in its infancy.
I hope I always love what I do. This goes without saying, but it's a way to keep myself honest. If this job becomes a burden on my family, I'm out. If this job, no matter when, isn't about making students' lives and educational experiences better, I'm out. Some folks have made comments about how this is a great job because there are no papers to grade, discipline to deal with, or bells to concern myself with. To be honest, I didn't mind grading because my most recent years were filled with assigning meaningful tasks. I didn't grade papers that I wasn't prepared for. We all have "that kid", but I didn't have discipline issues. The bells didn't bother me; in fact, I enjoyed the structure. I didn't get away from any aspect of teaching. I hope I always love walking in and helping teachers help their students.