As a classroom teacher I occasionally felt like those in administration were the bad guys. They were always telling us what we had to do. It seemed like everything was always changing and when we just started getting comfortable... BOOM! Things change again.
"They get over there (the administration building; 'ESC') and they lose touch of what it's like to be a teacher." Not only have I heard this exact phrase, I said it myself several times. So when it was brought to my attention that there was an opening at ESC as an Instructional Technology Specialist, I had mixed emotions. Technology is my passion and this could be my dream job. Although this position was a 9 week maternity leave position, I went into it with the perception that I was joining "The Darkside."
When I interviewed for the Instructional Technology Specialist position, one statement during that interview sent chills down my spine. "If you're hired, you will have a perspective change being here at ESC." Wow... how did you know that I think everyone out here is out to get me and all you care about is money? Well long story short, I was hired and yes I had a HUGE perceptive change.
Let's be clear...no one at the administrative level is out to get anyone. I have never seen so many hard working people in my life. Everyone I worked with spent every moment of the day persevering through loads of work to make sure that the students of Carmel Clay Schools are given the very best. Every decision made has the students and what's best for the district in mind, not to mention these decisions also make teachers' jobs easier.
In terms of technology, we recently had changes made in who controls the building's purchasing power for technology. At the building level, we used to be able to pretty much purchase what technology we wanted, whether that would be PCs, laptops, iPods, or interactive whiteboards. One big thing I always hear about is how teachers would love to purchase iPods and iPads to use in the school with students. It's the next big thing right? Changes then came through that limited what we could purchase at the building level and the general view of this was negative. "The administrators are at it again..." I couldn't for the life of me figure out why a high performing school district such as Carmel Clay Schools wasn't on the "cutting edge" of technology and moving towards a 1:1 initiative.
After spending 9 weeks the position of Instructional Technology Specialist my eyes have been opened. I know now why decisions are made for teachers. As much as I would love to have all of the technology that's out today to use with my students, it's not truly what's best right now. I understand why the district is taking their time moving to a 1:1 initiative. Don't be mistaken, they know that's where the education world is going. It's better to have a plan than to jump blindly into it. I went to a "meeting of minds" with several school districts around Indiana and heard talk of a district implementing 3,000 Android tablets in an effort to move to 1:1. I'm almost certain they started with a pilot of some sort, but to be honest they didn't really sound confident or prepared for the implications of 3,000 tablets. Carmel Clay Schools has a plan... they always do.
I am now confident in the choices that my administrators make. They see the big picture while I only see at times, with tunnel vision. Sure, sometimes it feels that we get junk piled on us or we are restricted with what we can have. After visiting The Darkside, I have had a perspective change that will not only make me a better person, but also a better teacher, technology coordinator, and leader among my peers.