Principal, Hawthorne Elementary
Going into this journey, I had preconceived ideas about which teachers would thrive with the addition of technology and additional professional development and which ones would struggle. As I reflect on the change in teacher practice after only five months of the implementation of STAT, I am pleasantly surprised by the results.
To be honest, the change in teachers has had serendipitous effects. I am surprised with the level of engagement by teachers specifically from some of the teachers that I least expected it. Many “developing” teachers have grabbed hold of the new learning, thrived, and become leaders. They have been energized and rejuvenated as result of the technology and professional development. Many of the once reluctant teachers are now willing to try new innovative practices and are meeting with success.
When planning for instruction, teachers are considering which of the best practices to employ in order to meet the standards. They are making decisions about instruction which may or may not include technology. They are thinking through- what’s the best way for students to learn this- tech is one of the options. Teachers are keeping the needs of the students at the center of their planning. Technology is providing them with resources that they have not had access to previously to meet the students’ needs.
One of our developing teachers, shared her insights regarding some of her students who are introverts. This young teacher has embraced technology in all content areas and is especially thrilled with its benefits in writing. She is amazed at how the use of the computer has given her “quiet students” a voice. Using the app Lego Storybuilder, students are able to tell their story and are encouraged and motivated to keep writing.
How has the STAT initiative changed teachers? Without question, it has helped them to revisit the why and how of instruction in light of the 21st century learners sitting in front of them. This journey has been transformational both for the teachers and the students. Powerful.