Teach Me Tech Tuesdays

I began my journey as a TIS at the very end of October last school year. I had very little time to prep for the switch, as they wanted me to go from one job to the next with only a day’s notice. I was able to squeeze out two. Granted, I had known I was leaving the classroom, but I hadn’t been given an exact date. Then boom! It all happened so very fast.

My very first day on the job was at the middle school where I would spend 3 days of my week. I had been given a tour of the building and met the teachers when I spent a day with the TIS I would be replacing, but it was all a blur to me. I couldn’t remember where things were in the school, let alone all of the teachers. Looking back, it amuses me that I was so confused by the school layout. During my brief tour, I had noticed a few things. One being that the TIS didn’t interact very much with the staff. The other was that teachers didn’t reach out for help.

Cue me and my brilliant ideals to change the world, or school, rather. Well, not quite so much that, but still. On my first day I attended each grade level’s team planning session and introduced myself and my goals for the year. I also sent out an email with the same information. I wanted to build relationships. I wanted to be in classrooms. I wanted to help infuse technology in lessons, and teach teachers how to use any new technology that crossed their paths. I created the sign-up book for teachers who would need assistance.

Looking back, I realize that I expected too much at first. Here I was ready to do my job, and the teachers weren’t not ready for the likes of me. They were not used to a TIS wanting to do their job, and instead were used to using the previous TIS just to fix their computer issues. He didn’t help issues with that of course, but I started off getting more requests to fix things. I hated that. I didn’t want to be fixing things only. I wanted to do more. I just wanted to do my JOB.

It wasn’t until second semester that things started to change a bit. I was able to find some teachers that wanted me to help them with technology. I spent most of the year building relationships, and letting others know what I could do in the future. By the end of the year, I had formed some great relationships, and helped out a handful of teachers in many ways. With others, it seemed like I was starting to break through.

With that back story, that brings me up to speed to today. I want to make myself more available next year to teachers to help them learn new technology. Yes, they know I have my sign-up book and am at the school 3 days a week, but it’s not utilized as much as I’d like. I think it’s one of those things that’s known, but just forgotten in the background. I also don’t want to hear someone say that they wanted to learn something technology-related, but no one taught them. My idea will fix this issue, because it will plainly document that there were chances once a week during school hours to take advantage of this, not to mention the other two days as well.

Teach Me Tech Tuesdays is what I hope will solve some of my issues.

Teach Me Tech Tuesdays will be a weekly occurrence where I will make teaching new technology to middle school staff members a priority during that day. This isn’t to say that they can’t have me do this on either of the other two days that I’m at that school. It just makes the idea memorable.

Here’s how it will work:

1. Teachers wanting to learn new technology can opt to sign up to have me visit them on their planning time.

2. I will meet with that teacher in their room in a one on one environment. Teachers who have the same planning period and would like to learn the same technology skill at the same time can meet with me in a group setting.

3. Teachers can use this time to have me show them basic computer skills, how to use the Microsoft Office programs, ways to use the apps in their email account, possibly technology tools to integrate with their lessons, plan for my assistance when teaching students technology skills, and more. Basically, it’s up to the teacher, as long as it relates to technology.

4. Teachers are free to sign up as often or as little as they’d like. I’m hoping that knowing in advance that Tuesday will be a day of focus for teaching skills will be in their minds when they complete their planning and schedules for the week.

I also plan to use these sessions as follow ups to staff development sessions that I give. One session I plan to teach is the basics of OneNote. Then I can tell staff that if they need additional assistance to make sure to utilize Teach Me Tech Tuesdays. I can help them with issues they may have, or go further in depth as needed.

I’m hoping that having such a day will also let teachers see that they aren’t alone when it comes to not knowing how to do something. If they aren’t comfortable and see other teachers taking advantage of this, then perhaps they’ll see that it’s okay to not know, and very beneficial to learn. I’ll definitely document the process of implementing this, but fingers crossed that it goes well!

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