I am a week and a day (officially… of course I was back and forth and into this and that all summer) into my new position as technology teacher for the elementary grades at my school, and I’m finding more and more that it is clearly my place in the universe.
I am incredibly lucky to take two of my deepest passions – technology and education – and blend them into a learning experience that is so essential, so needed in our schools today. As I’ve told colleagues and even some of my older students, use of computer technology and the Internet has moved so fast in the last 15 or so years that it’s nearly impossible to understand the consequences of it. It was my generation that developed the Internet as we know it, all the promise and pitfalls, the miracles and bullying, the beautiful and horrifying edges of all of it. We ran headfirst into the technology without thinking what we were creating; the Internet was – is – my generation’s atomic bomb.
I have been charging my oldest students with using what we’ve created for good, demanding that they learn how to use it well, with grace, for proactive means. Even the littlest I am pointing in the direction of positivity and understanding: first and foremost, listen.
It’s a transformation for me, too. In my new position, much of the staff has come to rely on my technology literacy for their everyday uses; even the administration has given me responsibilities that I’m suited for and challenged by. That’s given me the opportunity to take charge, use my areas of competence, to help others, smooth paths, and open doors. I feel proud of what I do for students and colleagues alike.
My principal sent me an email last week after seeking my advice on a particularly pesky problem, saying that my new position seemed made just for me. I can’t help but agree.