Today is Saturday, August 26. I’m nearly two weeks late of my expected blog post. But truth be told, on August 14, I was feeling a bit, well, uninspired. I was working in my classroom and getting thing organized, cleaned and looking pretty to start the year, but thoughts of using technology were last on my mind. It may have been because I found boxes and boxes that looked like this:
Devices that had been stored for the summer, un-opened, dusty and uninspiring.
But then something changed. The first day of school came, the children walked in and I saw their smiling faces. I was excited for the start of the year and so were they! I walked around with a permanent smile on my face for nearly the entire day.
Being a teacher isn’t just about teaching subjects, it’s about making connections, building relationships and fostering a love of learning that runs deep and is genuine. Remembering that was just what I needed to start the year.
This year is different for me. I have taught kindergarten for the past 17 years. I am the author of the K-2 Now Classrooms book which was written from my experience as a Kindergarten teacher. However, this year, I am the Reading Specialist and everything is as new for me as it is for the kids in our school. New, exciting and refreshing.
In thinking about what inspires me, I remembered it is the children AND the teachers I work with. Being able to spend my first two days walking into each classroom and talking with all the teachers in our building inspired me. I was able to notice things in just two short days, that I hadn’t noticed before. Themes. Themes of building relationships,building trust, building learners.
On day two of school. I was in multiple classrooms that were building foundations for learning.
So, how does that relate to technology? Well, what I saw, were still dusty boxes of devices, sitting in a closet, but what I witnessed from teachers and heard, was the building of excitement and expectations of how devices are used in the school setting in a MEANINGFUL WAY, long before they are even passed out and powered up.
I saw posters like this:
I heard discussions and excitement about the return of devices to students hands.
In the classrooms that were prepared to hand-out devices, it was done thoughtfully and with purpose, fully explaining every step.
One teacher created a PowerPoint to review all the buttons of an iPad and their importance. It was a great refresher!
Additionally, she beautifully executed some lessons in our K-2 book in which we outline taking a selfie and uploading it to the home screen. An activity which greatly excited the students and created a buzz in the classroom that included much chatter and giggling. What an amazing way to start day 2 of school.
As the weeks evolve, so will the use of using technology. What is important to remember is that technology also needs to be used to build learning, creativity, problem solving and relationships.
I challenge you to use technology in a creative, meaningful way this school year. The NOW Classroom team is here to help, and hopefully inspire you every step of the way.
Make this year fun. Make it meaningful. Make it creative. ENJOY every minutes with your students and inspire them to do great things and think beyond the classroom walls. Enjoy the journey! Happy School Year 2017-2018!For 8/14/17
By: Beth Hatlen