Here’s what’s happening.
A teacher, previously averse to new tech tools, installed iTunes and added my collection of Music Cues to it. She’s planning on using a few to start up, then adding more as she gets more comfortable.
That exact story has happened at least 8 times this month and I’m thrilled about it.
I sent that to every teacher in the district and got no less than 40 replies (Ten percent of the staff); they all began with “Oh, you’re the new Tech Coach! Can you…”
- Show me how to use SubText?
- Install iTunes on my computer?
- Fix my printer?
- Put the email icon on my desktop?
- Demo a lesson on effective research strategies for my seniors?
Attacking all those questions with the same earnest optimistic kindness is vital for my credibility as a teacher coach.
Sure, I have to differentiate my role from a Computer Technician at least once a day, but every time, the conversation leads to a firmer understanding of what I can do for that teacher.
Subtext and NewsELA Can Hold Hands
Little did she know, that’s exactly the kind of thing that I do.
Here’s what I told her:
- Save the NewsELA article as a PDF and put it in your Google Drive. (There’s a Chrome Extension that I use for that.)
- On the iPad, open Google Drive and open that PDF (like you’re reading it).
- In the top right, tap the three dots and select OPEN IN…
- Choose Subtext.
In case any of y’all are interested.
Google Drive Training
After describing cloud storage to one teacher, she insisted I come back and get her whole department on a shared folder. That meeting was helpful for three reasons:
- I can talk about Google Drive all day, speaking faster and faster with increasingly frantic hand gestures until I’m standing on the desk and shouting, “Real-time collaboration!”
- They were simultaneously discussing RTI plans, parent conferences, and the upcoming staff meeting, all while I walked them through how stuff works.
It reminded me that not all teachers will sit quietly and follow along like we’re at a CUE conference.
I’m on their prep period on their turf; I’ll be thankful for the time I get.
- One of my goals for the year is to make “disciples” at each campus; teachers who are willing to try/see new stuff and would be down for me to hijack their class for a period and do a demo. This posse definitely fits that description.
If I’m honest, I do miss the classroom. I chalk that up to the discomfort that one feels in any new position, especially one like this. I’ve essentially changed fields, but I can still daily look through the window at a job I loved and at which, I performed… better than average.
La Cucina Matematica
We both share a fear of becoming shameless self-promoters who take schools’ tax dollars and don’t actually help students directly. So we’re both careful about how often we self-promote.
Check out the site. If your district has some leftover Title I money that expires this month (as ours does), we’d love to come visit and talk shop with your math teachers about how to build student creativity and problem-solving.
The “Move It!” Chrome Extension
I’m not frantically pacing a classroom anymore, I’m at a desk around 30% of the time. And I don’t wanna get fat.
This pops up every n minutes and won’t go away until I click DONE.
My office-mates needed little convincing that I was an odd duck, but declaring “Ten large arm circles! Let’s go, Cheryl!” sealed my fate.
~Matt “Wall Squat! Twenty Seconds!” Vaudrey