I find technology to be an amazing teaching tool. I find it especially powerful when it comes to getting my at-risk or special needs students interested in their learning. Ever since I started using SMARTboard, mind maps and other programs in my classroom, I can clearly see my student’s engagement increase. I find that my students are more excited about what they are learning and as a teacher this makes me happy. I love hearing them talk about their SMARTboard math lesson over lunch with their friends and hearing them talk about how cool math really is. And this is all because through the use of technology, students learned a math concept that seems not-so-interesting if the SMARTboard was not used.
I take these great moments to the staff room and share with my co-workers how great my technology-implement math lesson went.
I hear the staff say: “You are lucky that you know how to use the SMARTboard”.
I respond “would you be interested in learning more about how to use the technology in your classroom?”
I see everyone with their head nodding with interest. This gives me an idea. I will set up a PD session to teach the staff how to use the SMARTboard. I will also provide them with some sample lessons. It takes me about a week since I have to choose a day that will be good for everyone. I think one day after school for 15-20min would work for most.
The final day arrives and I am super excited. Now I wait. I wait and I wait. Maybe the message wasn’t clear. I make another announcement. Fifteen minutes after my announcement, one person shows up and the first thing she says is:
“How long will this take?”
I tell myself, all it takes is just one person, so I start going through my presentation for my audience of one.
After this, I set up a few more mini-sessions with 1-2 staff members attending. I am really frustrated and this is my reality. As a technology-lead at my school, I really try to set up as many technology-related training sessions as possible to provide staff with ideas on how to integrate technology into their classroom. But what can I really do, if the people are not really interested? Of course, they vocalize that we need to have PD sessions so they can learn but when it comes down to it, no one attends these PD sessions. Teachers approach me asking me to email them SMARTboard related lessons. But is it really my job to create the lessons and email it to them? Am I really doing my part in educating them? Am I really being a good leader? The frustration never ends …