As a Digital Learning Specialist, I was one of the few that my supervisors knew they could come to for ideas to create change. In fact, I was usually sharing some idea with them every month! In 2013, my supervisor asked for my assistance designing and facilitating a new professional learning experience for teachers who were going to have iPads in their classrooms. That program, Apple Core Teacher Academy, allowed teachers to choose which strand of learning they wanted to participate. Some sessions were offered online and some face-to-face, but most importantly, every assignment from the course was directly tied to what they could and would use in their own learning environments making it very authentic for each teacher. The Apple Core Teacher Academy became the first of many annual professional learning experiences of its kind that our department would offer. The names may have changed and the format changed slightly but they all incorporated choice, ownership, voice, and authentic assignments. And it all began with the idea I shared with her then. I've been in love with creating professional learning experiences that equips teachers and inspires change and innovation ever since.
That passion has led me to my new role, Coordinator of Teacher Development. In this role, I will have the opportunity to support teacher leaders with our district's blended learning initiative and implementation. This program has prepared me for this new season. While I'm sad, in some ways, to leave my awesome classmates and this authentic learning experience, I am glad to begin a new role where I can readily apply all that I've learned.
My new role is a new position in our district, so it holds much promise and I can be a part of the team that paves the way for innovative learning environments in classrooms and professional learning sessions. One way we will do that is by incorporating choice, ownership, and voice through authentic assignments.
It's interesting to be in the middle of the beginning and the end. There is hope for an exciting future that I know nothing about and confidence that the learning and life experiences I've had will lead me down the right road for me. There is also a feeling of accomplishment in approaching the finish line. However, there is also feelings of loss. Losing the regular connections with other amazing educators (Nancy W, Malika, Patrick, Jason, Nancy B., Chad, and Judy). Not to mention some great professors that challenged me, stretched me, and gave me the awesome opportunity of publishing a book chapter with them! (Coming soon!)
It's been a great ride!