New School Year

Another school year has begun and I reflect on the role of being a teacher and how it has changed for me over the years.  I’ve seen it from several points of view – that of a beginning teacher, veteran teacher, musicologist, technologist, and administrator.  One thing remains the same, regardless of the category;  motivated students want to learn and motivated teachers want to teach. 

Teachers’ pedagogy styles are so varied – just as the students’  learning styles are also varied.  It is miraculous that over a short period of time, those various styles and needs become congruent.  It’s the curriculum that binds the two worlds together, and the administrative acumen that propels the dynamics of education. 

I am really enjoying the luxury of Twitter as an educational tool.  People I don’t even know, but who thrive on education and it’s complexities, will contribute their expertise to ‘tweet’ about innovations, reforms, and new tools.  Regardless of the hour, I can simply type in a username and password, and visit fellow educators all over the world to collect new strategies that are freely shared.  My, how things have changed over the years.


School Resumes Aug.24, 2009

After two weeks of intense professional development and planning, the doors will swing wide on Monday morning and a fresh group of little people will walk in, some with anxious parents, some all on their own.  What will they expect?   It’s up to me to provide an inviting atmosphere that has been well prepared and interesting – it’s so important to get their attention from the first encounter.

So many children, even the Pre-K and Kinder babies, have either played games on a computer or watched their parent(s) use one at home.  At least, that takes some of the fear out of walking into a computer lab full of machines for the first time.  I have to remember that I am teaching digital natives, not digital immigrants.   My task is to assure the little ones that this is not only going to be fun, but a growing-up process.

The Houston ISD technology curriculum for PK-5 begins with input/output devices  and acceptable use policies.  With that in mind as a first-week objective,  I  ‘break the ice’ the first day by taking an informal inventory of what technology devices they have at home  and what they might like to explore.  In varying degrees, I am able to dialogue in general about the objectives and give ownership to the students.

Knowing the curriculum I am teaching for an entire school year in advance allows me plenty of room to navigate and adjust through the content.  My goal for this school year is to have my students, all 750+ of them,  accomplish not just the minimum requirements, but to exceed expectations and be proud to demonstrate what they have learned.