Tuesday, August 25, 2015

First Two Weeks As a Technology Coach

The biggest regret I have from the last two weeks,  the first two weeks at a new school in a new country, was downplaying how much I like my new job.

I shouldn't say that I like it -- I love it.

Being at a new school in a new country has its own challenges. My last school was in Japan, and I completely misjudged how different the cultures were. Fortunately, I came a month before school started so I get to know the city a little bit which has made things easier.

There is a lot to learn moving to a new school. There is the faculty, which is considerably larger than my last, the school, the school culture, and general procedures.

KAS has a lot more technology in it than I have seen. It is so exciting to be at a school like this. And that is my role right there. The bridge between the technology and the teachers.

I have done some really fun things so far: being a resource collector, teaching an MYP IT class, deploy Chromebooks in the third grade, and do tech support. I believe the last one is essential to building relationships [trust] with the other teachers.

BUT, I don't want it want to fall into the role of tech support guy.

When I was hired I was asked for my general vision and a rough plan of action. The plan at the time was to start with the admin vision, move down to the departments, down to the teachers, and then cycle back to the admin.

I don't think it was a bad plan, but it is not very student centered. Not at all.

Now that I am here, I my plan is looking something like:

- build relationships
Most of my time is spent with relationship building. Just like students, teachers won't learn from someone they don't like or trust. And I get the added benefit of making friends.

- be visible and approachable
I have a strategy I call the walk, where I walk the school in the morning so any teachers having problems while setting up can grab me. I've been hitting my daily goal of 5,000 steps quite a lot recently.

- seek out early adopters
I am looking for early adopters; teachers who are not afraid to try new things and who have an ability to laugh even when lessons don't go the way the were planned.

- begin to push for more tech integration
I am not ready to start talking about tech integration yet, but I can't let this one sit for too long.

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