With each new school year I become more and more anxious and excited for a new set of learning opportunities. When I say learning, I refer to my one on one interactions and digital interactions with my fellow administrators, teachers and of course our students. On a much larger scale, I am have a renewed committment to extending my own global network.
I guess I was never a good learner as a child, or for that matter until I nearly graduated college. I can remember the day my brother (who was more tech savy than me) came to my rescue as I prepared to present my research to my science professors. At that time, the Internet was weak, limited and unreliable. Software applications like PowerPoint and Excel were barely being used in our school, and if I had a few $’s and an inside scoop, I would have made millions off a company called Google.
This experience was a game changer for me. It started to re-shape my future and certainly lead me to develop a new belief system for teaching and learning. After many years, I am a bit upset that I was never able to experience this through my K-12 academic career, but thanks to my brother and many other educational leaders who have inspired me, I am grateful to dedicate my entire life to reaching both teachers and students.
I recently met with my new teaching staff in my district and we talked about the future needs of our students. We spoke about the year 2022 and the year 2042. 2022, represented the year that today’s Kindegartners would graduate. 2042, is the year that they would have to work until, in order to collect a full pension. My game changing experience came at the most important time in my history (perhaps the most important of everyone’s). This was 1999 and the Internet was nothing like it is today. I guess I never thanked him for this, but I definitely will.
So, what do I want to do this year? First of all, I am going to be a new dad! I can’t wait! But with this added responsibility, I will be more focused then ever before. As I approach my practice, my decisions are made for various reasons, but most of all, what would I want to see for my child? Are our school meeting the needs of the 2022 graduate? Are we giving the teachers the tools to facilitiate these learning experiences? Are teachers ready to do this? Is the school system or community ready for this? There are so many more questions, to which I don’t have the answers. I am very excited about tomorrow (1st day of school). I can’t wait to work with my fellow administrators to develop new models for teaching and learning.
This year, we are going to increase our critical mass of web 2.0 users and re-think the way we approach teaching and learning for today’s teacher and today’s student!