This is my nineteenth year teaching. Nineteen years. I've been teaching school almost as long as I have attended school. My teaching career has spanned two states, five grades, three schools, seven principals and over a thousand students.
My students have always needed the same thing...a caring and hard-working teacher that knows how to use the tools at her disposal.
In the past nineteen years, the tools have changed.
In 1995, my third grade classroom had desks, bulletin boards, chalk boards, and textbooks. Later that year, someone rolled in one computer on a cart. No internet. Just one computer. No printer. Just a computer.
Five years later in 2000, I'd moved and started teaching in a larger system. Computers were in every room and there was a computer lab. This lab had a teacher and an assistant and I brought my fifth graders there once a week for a lesson. Internet was becoming more integrated into the computer lab lessons.
As the years progressed, technology became one of the most important tools in the classroom. Promethean board & document camera became things I used every single day. We rely on email to communicate and our grade books are online. Now, each of my students has a laptop to use.
Today as I arrived to my darkened classroom, I realized there was a power surge. OH NO! This meant no promethean board, no laptops. What would the students do? What do I do? I've become so dependent on the tools of the trade, I started to panic. I froze in the middle of the chaos and remembered where I began. Technology is a tool, it is not the teacher.
This year my team gets the opportunity to work with laptops in our classroom. Each students has a laptop at their desk. It's new. New can be scary and exciting. The unknown makes me feel like it's nineteen years ago and I'm starting over. Creating lesson plans and meaningful ways to integrate new tools is always a challenge and it's a challenge I welcome.
[I want to document everything as I experience this year...all the changes and the struggles and the celebrations. The questions and the a-ha moments from students and teachers alike will help me reflect.]