Being the first to do something is exciting. I feel like I'm an explorer leading an expedition into undiscovered lands. The students in my classes this year use laptop computers in each of their core subjects (Language Arts, Math, History, and Science). We are the only team in sixth grade utilizing this technology. That's a big responsibility for teachers and students alike. We have an opportunity sitting on our desks that many students would love to have. It's a privilege and with privileges come responsibilities.
The teachers spent hours and hours being trained this summer by hard working, thoughtful, creative and PATIENT teachers. Heather and Mike lead most of the training which gave us the time to practice with programs we'd be using. They supplied us with tips on how to best use this technology and suggestions for where to go for additional help. We were provided with endless resources, the most helpful of which remain...Mike & Heather themselves.
The excitement and stress wound together in my stomach and before long I couldn't tell the difference between the two emotions. Anticipation colored much of my days leading up to this school year. After teaching for so many years, planning days can be routine and normal, but there's nothing normal about this year.
On the first day of school during the first block of the day, we brought the one hundred and fifty sixth graders to the cafeteria to log on to the computers. A sea of laptops filled the tables and the students dipped their toes into their year with technology.