I realize that this vision and mission statement which I am formally presenting as part of a classroom assignment in my Masters of Education in Digital Educational Leadership program, in fact, seldom mentions technology. At first glance that worried me, but as I considered the ramifications of the omission, I was actually quite satisfied with the balanced message inherent in that decision. It’s cliche, but technology is truly a tool for me, and I have the same goals for my students and colleagues. Technology is not the answer. Technology does not always make things easier or make them harder. The art is finding the right tool for the right situation. Creativity and problem solving are always key to success and innovation. Collaboration fuels success — proper teamwork provides for support, leadership, and achievement. Finally, more often than not, a celebratory mind-set will allow for success to find a way. We might not always see the success in the moment, but a long-term vision (looking both into the past and future) is vital to learning and teaching.
My long-term vision is to live a life that encourages creativity, collaboration, and celebration in the lives of those around me. “Teach a man to fish and you’ll feed him for a lifetime,” says the proverb. I have little interest in spoon-feeding others in perpetuity. I also acknowledge that there is a natural progression to teaching a child how to eat. First spoon feeding as they learn to use their mouths, then cutting food into little bites to keep them safe, and eventually we put the full meal in front of them and let them choose how to proceed. So it is in educational technology. It would be foolish of me to hand the same lesson to all of the teachers in a grade level and expect them to all teach it in exactly the same way, using the same tools, the same resources, the same everything… There are so many variables at play, with only a small portion of those under my influence. I can’t control all of the variables, but I can serve as a peer coach for them so that they can see the value of technology in education. I look forward to the chance to laugh and celebrate with staff and students when the creative process is successful, and to laugh and celebrate with them when the solutions fail miserably, for that is when more valuable learning if often taking place.
Andreasen, N. C. (2006). The creative brain: The science of genius. New York, NY: Plume.
Duke University – The Fuqua School of Business. (2013, May 30). Apple CEO Tim Cook on Collaboration [Video file]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/EZPYLZ7I6gs
International Society for Technology in Education. (n.d.). Standards for Coaches. Retrieved from http://www.iste.org/standards/iste-standards/standards-for-coaches
Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. (2015, September 23). Charlotte Danielson’s Framework for Teaching. Retrieved November 26, 2015, from http://tpep-wa.org/the-model/framework-and-rubrics/instructional-frameworks/danielson-framework/
Palmer, P. J. (2007). The heart of a teacher. In The courage to teach: Exploring the inner landscape of a teacher’s life. San Francisco, CA: Josey-Bass.
Ribble, M. (2014, June 25). Essential elements of digital citizenship. Retrieved from https://www.iste.org/explore/articledetail?articleid=101
Strauss, V. (2013, May 2). Why collaboration is vital to creating effective schools. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2013/05/02/why-collaboration-is-vital-to-creating-effective-schools/
University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research. (2015). Surveys of CPS Schools. Retrieved from https://ccsr.uchicago.edu/surveys
Balance: HomeSpot HQ. https://flic.kr/p/e3uxEq