I spend a good deal of time planning for transitions, as both a parent and educator. So when I recently received an unexpected opportunity to work on a long-term educational project with global impact, I started the arduous task of planning a graceful mid-year exit from the classroom.
I cleaned up all my curriculum maps. I documented my daily routines. I re-organized all of my server files. I shared permissions for all of my Google Apps for Edu data. I made screencasts of all iPad management processes. I worked with administrators to hire and train a middle school technology integration coordinator and a lower school technology specialist. I practiced my conversations with students prior to the announcement.
I thought I was in good shape until my last day of school. My final sessions with kids were tinged with sadness. Students asked all sorts of thoughtful questions about my future plans – ranging from when I would visit to my dog’s ability to accompany me to work at Google.
What I was completely unprepared for was students, faculty and administration leveraging the tools & skills we’d been exploring to give me a send off. I received a heart-warming and beautifully composed email from a student who had a history of mis-using the communication medium to make others feel bad. I received digital cards, digital collages, video goodbyes, HTML formatted farewell cards, and even a digitally sketched portrait. Students used a variety of digital media to capture the last day, including a high-5 tunnelled super send off!
Finally, as the recent collaboration (below) with a class in Los Angeles reminded me: just because I’ve left teaching full-time doesn’t mean I can’t continue to participate in education. I’m looking forward to working with students in the future and using technology as a form of self-expression and communication to enhance those experiences.
3 thoughts on “A tough transition…”
Congratulations! Google is lucky to have you!
To think that you had all of this happening in your life and you still took the time to help my second and third graders make their Valentine song…you are a gem!
I wish you all the best with your new adventure!
What about your blog – will you continue with this? I’ve found many helpful ideas and reviews here.
Thanks for the note. As you can probably tell, the blogging has slowed as I’m busy in learning mode. Hoping to keep it alive – time will tell.