Welcome! This blog is to provide inspiration to me in the things that I enjoy doing, including my profession as an educator. I hope that others may also share from my inspiration and be inspired in their own interests in life.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Technology fail - A good thing?

Today was the first day of a course that I am teaching through VC to Educational Assistants. I had difficulties over the last week or so, as the Moodle site I had set up over the past month disappeared. As I worked with the tech department to try to find my site, I browsed many screen shots of Moodle sites until I found one that looked like mine. Today, as I was about to go teach, I realized that this was not my site, but just looked similar on the outside!

I went to teach anyways, and the bridge that all the sites dial into was acting up so we ended up having to cancel class. It was at this time that I noticed that the students in the room with me had a different textbook than I. By this time, I was ready to cry. After many hours prepping for this course and trying to be ready ahead of time, technology was not on my side and things seemed to be getting worse.

I spent some time looking at my new materials and realized that they are better than the old ones. I can feel the fire burning again, and have used that fuel to develop a new course outline and have prepared for the first lecture again!

Even though my Moodle site seems to be lost in space, it is all good! (Apparently it may have been written over!) I have better materials to add to it now, and this will save me time deleting the old ones! It's always nice when you can see the silver lining. I am super excited to start the course again next week! Fingers crossed on the bridge working!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Change is Good!

For the past 12 years I have in the field of Special Education in some capacity or another. After having a baby and returning from maternity leave, I lost my title and am now a regular grade 5 teacher. I spent quite a few months angry and upset about the change. I felt like I lost a piece of my identity. I kept asking myself and those closest to me whether I should continue on my path, or find a new path. Nobody really gave me any feedback about the path I should take, but I was told that I shouldn't be upset and to find the good in it.
As a new school year started, it was easy to find the good in it. I seen the new Inclusive Education coordinator trying to manage guardians of difficult students, planning programs, setting up the new school year, and meeting after school with teachers and parents. All of a sudden, it wasn't the worst thing in the world. I also spent quite some time developing the classes I was teaching and was really passionate about getting started. I had never had a homeroom class before and was excited to really get to know a group of children.
Our keynote speaker at our division start-up was Will Richardson. This man discussed technology in schools and how kids know so much more than we do in regards to technology, how learning has changed so much since we went to school, and consequently, how teaching needs to change as well.
That night I went home and joined twitter. (@AmyInspires) It took me an entire weekend to figure out what the heck people were saying in their tweets. That's when I realized how far behind I really was! Sure I had Facebook, but so do most of the 10 year olds I teach! So, later that week, after reading numerous tweets and blogs from other (more knowledgeable) teachers around the world, I decided to incorporate more technology into my classes. I set up a kidblog for my Language Arts class to act as a weekly newsletter for parents to read.
I have a SMARTBoard in my classroom, which I do not use to it's full potential, but will try some new things on it this year. It is mostly used as a projector from my computer. I am also teaching an FSL class through VC which is an interesting undertaking.
I used to blog, but then stopped as I got too busy with other things. So today, I deleted my old blog, and started a new one!
I figure that with a old year old, I'm going to have to stay more up to date with technology so that I can support him in his learning. He already likes a few apps on my Ipod touch!!
I have a few more ideas up my sleeve to try in the next week or two, and will update as I go.
To my fellow teachers, I hope you had as inspiring a week as I had!