Movin' On Up

Creative Commons License photo credit: Carl_C

All day today I’ve been tooling around the house singing the theme song from The Jefferson’s, “Movin’ On Up”. Since resigning from my job as an Elementary Technology Facilitator, my career plans have been pretty wonky. (Love that word…. wonky wonky wonky.) My intention over the last two years has been to find an elementary classroom teaching position where I could infuse classroom content with technology… not drag content into a technology classroom. (Stepping off my soapbox now.) Given the current state of education, and the fact that districts in my area were RIFing 1st-3rd year teachers right and left, I knew that wasn’t going to happen.  And the teacher intern positions didn’t work for me…. or those schools.  (Story for another day…. I know too much and I know too little. Catch-22.) So, when last we left our heroine, she was flying around the County Courthouse saving energy and promoting sustainability through social media and web. And I’m still doing that.  Learning oodles.

However, as of yesterday, I joined the team at Desiderata School @YourPrsnlSchool as their Technology Integration Coordinator. It’s a small, but growing, non-profit private K-12 school that specializes in personalized learning. The directors, Larame & Pandi Spence, are amazing people who have a passion for helping students learn. (Gotta say, their kids are awesome … had a couple of them for a period of time in my little ol’ computer lab.) As in any small school, flexibility is key.  After sharing my passions and interests, they talked about how they saw that meshing with their needs for this school year. (Best job interview experience ever- who does that? Talks with candidates to really see where they might fit into their organization? Not sure that’s even an interview. I think it’s brilliant- puts my strengths to work for them.) Voila! My new gig as a Technology Integration Coordinator was born.  Which, in this case, entails about 4 hours a week at the school sharing technology skills through their American History and English credits. Best part?  I get to structure the time how I want. I get to pick what kinds of skills to teach. I think I’ve died and gone to heaven. Talk about movin’ on up!

The only catch is that I’ve moved from elementary to high school so quickly my head is spinning. Honestly, this is a perfect combination of my personal loves- history, technology, research, connected learning, and mentoring teens. I’m jazzed.  And  excited. And a little trepidatious.  After two years in the elementary classroom, I have a tentative grasp on classroom management for that age. High school?  Not the same thing. I’m not quite sure how my time as a youth coach will translate to high school students, but I think it will be all good.

Matter of fact, I know it will be. This year, I get to focus on a fraction of the students from last year.  Gee…. if you could pick 430 students to see for 1 hour each week, or 10 students to see for 4 hours… no brainer! The deck is stacked in my favor. I’m basically mentoring a small group of students.  This year, I don’t have to be concerned with CIPPA or COPPA or endless permission forms or the lack of email addresses. Let there be dancing in the streets! (And there goes another song….) I’m also getting to set-up a school Edmodo site @edmodo , create groups, add content, share resource libraries, and generally get that infrastructure together. Other fun perks? Some web stuff (all things happen for a reason- my County job is using Joomla! and so is Desiderata… you could call that serendipity if I *liked* Joomla!), a tech blog for the school… generally doing what I love.

And that is a reason to celebrate moving on up! (Get a load of the iPhone instrument in this video…)