S.T.A.T. Teacher, Chase Elementary
It all started with a text from my assistant principal. She asked me if I knew any websites a fourth grade teacher and her students could visit in order to simulate a Twitter conversation. Our fearless teacher, Ms. Smith, hit a roadblock when trying to set up Twitter accounts for her students. The original plan was for students to participate in a Twitter conversation in order to summarize and discuss a chapter they were reading in ELA. Unfortunately, an email address is required in order to create a Twitter account. This posed a technological challenge much like some of the other unique challenges that we, as teachers in a Lighthouse School, experience on a daily basis. At Chase, teachers have demonstrated great perseverance and determination as they work together to address these obstacles by developing creative solutions.
As a member of this problem solving team, I logged onto my device and dove deep into the web to begin my search for a solution to our Twitter problem. I was able to identify several websites that boasted mock Twitter simulations, but none that I thought significantly met the needs of the situation. So, I sent an email to my trustworthy colleagues with whom I have had the pleasure to bond since Chase became a Lighthouse School. The other Lighthouse School STAT teachers have become my “go to” resource when seeking immediate advice and effective resources. Soon the emails, suggestions for websites, and actual lesson plans were flying back to me at optimum speed. In less than a half hour, I had three solid ideas. In a day’s time, I had an actual model lesson and links to examples! We ended up creating a Twitter simulation using streaming mode in Padlet.
Yes, piloting an ambitious initiative like the one represented in the Lighthouse Schools can pose daily challenges. However, we have found that no challenge is insurmountable thanks to the growth mindset of our teachers and the amazing group of BCPS colleagues who work to solve problems in innovative ways. Challenges are now viewed as opportunities for learning. We realize that if we are not learning, then we are not growing, and neither are our students. We are up to the challenge of making sure all of our students and teachers are learning and growing every day.