Sunday, September 6, 2015

As I have gotten to know the school, the school has gotten to know me

During the week of orientation or perhaps the first week of school, I don't remember when, I sent out a survey to all the teachers asking if it would be OK if I came into their classrooms to observe what they do. That way I would be able to understand their teaching styles, and get a feel for what the students are able to do.

I didn't get many responses. (I thought I hadn't gotten any responses,  but that was because I hadn't set up notifications on that spreadsheet.)

One thing I knew I wanted to do -- one piece of advice I heard over and over again -- was to build relationships. One way I had planned on doing that was through support with technology where I could, and being visible, but ideas totally stolen from Colin Gallager.

There was one day in the first week of school when I was just walking around before school started. I noticed teachers would call me into their rooms, or come out to talk to me about questions they had. A lot of the questions I had in the beginning were support questions, but with a school that had an influx of new teachers, starting the school year in an almost brand new building loaded with technology, it was expected.

In the first week of school an email was sent out inviting teachers to Wednesday night bowling. I am not a bowler, but I thought it would be a good chance to get to know my coworkers better. So far I have gone every week except one -- and I am still terrible.

And suddenly one day the dam of tech support questions broke a crack and an invitation to come in to introduce Chromebooks to 3rd Graders came. Then another came from the other 3rd Grade class. Then I was invited into a high school class to watch IB Trigonometry give their IA proposals. (Which was really cool).

Gradually I have been asked to do more, and people are starting to ask me for more support and I am finding myself moving all over the school frequently logging more than 10,000 steps in a day. Invitations to come and observe continue to roll in and invitations to plan lessons for classes has begun. Next week I am giving a search lesson to the 10th Grade English classes and a Digital Footprint lesson to the entire 9th Grade class. And invitations to observe or pop into classes are coming more regularly.

The Title
The title of this post refers to my role in the school. As I have built trust with my colleagues, they have seen that I can be a resource, and now I feel myself being used more.

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