Year 3: trials, success, technology, and tears

I know that I have not been in the field for a great amount of time. I get that. But this year has definitely been the most intense and stressful year yet. There have been lots of tears, anger, venting, and frustration — I thought this was all supposed to happen in your first year of teaching?? Well it’s all hitting me this year.

  • My students: I care about them deeply and they are so full of life and questions but having to find new ways to approach concepts because of a gap in learning between last years’ class and this years’ class. 
  • Technology: the hot topic in education. Everything is virtual, online, web-based — which I absolutely love. The problem is that there are so many great resources and things that I want my students to do using computers or iPads, but I can’t get the technology in my classroom for more than a day or two. Our technology director at our school does what I like to call the “computer cart shuffle.” She is constantly moving up and down the elevator of our 3-story school with carts and computers to try to accomodate all teachers. It’s amazing!
  • Technology break-down: My projector that is mounted on my ceiling is broken….and my SMART board is not connecting with my computer. Both things that I use everyday. This forces me to be stationed in the middle of the classroom in the way of students and it forces the students to be smashed closer together. My classroom is now a maze of desks that you have to dance around to get to the pencil sharpener or trash can. 
The good news? Yes there are good things happening to me this year.
  • I am now a board member of the Kansas Council of the Social Studies. A wonderful organization that supports social studies teachers all over Kansas. 
  • The direction that my social studies department is heading is to use tablets or computers as textbooks rather than ordering hard copies from a publishing company. I wanted to be able to try things about in my classroom before I was given 30 iPads when I had no clue how to use them!
  • I wrote a grant for an iPad to different organizations – local and national. I did not receive it locally but thank goodness for KANAAE! The Kansas Association of American Educators came through for me and awarded me a grant of $500 to purchase an iPad for my classroom. YAY!! This was wonderful news after a frustrating week.
    • The KANAAE is an affiliate of a professional organization called the Association of American Educators that supports teachers and students all over the country. They are a non-partisan organization that offers liability insurance and legal support to teachers at a fraction of the cost of other teachers unions. It is a wonderful community of educators and I appreciate the support they have given me during this school year!

 SO with that being said, my time will now be spent researching apps and writing and iBook for ancient Greek history. I will be looking for apps that will work efficiently in my classroom.  

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! This week could not have come at a better time 🙂