This is my 28th year in education. My undergraduate work certified me as an elementary educator, however, I continued my graduate work in pursuit of a Masters in Social Work degree, fully determined to find work in the public schools upon my graduation. I was very lucky to be hired by the school district of which I am still a member. Eighteen years ago, after being laid off once (social workers are often the first to go during a budget crisis, a crying shame!), and then being threatened with being terminated again soon after I was reinstated, I requested, and received, a teaching position in the middle school. I was assigned to a 6th grade inclusion class where I remained until this past year. In need of a change to refresh myself, I requested and received a transfer to one of the elementary schools with a 6th grade center where I will continue to teach both English Language Arts and Social Studies.
I have become quite a tech geek in my old age finding many uses for technology in my personal and professional life. I bought a computer for my room 16 years ago , mounted monitors on my walls 5 years ago (my classroom was compared to a sports bar) and most recently invested in a Macbook, an iPad, and Epson projector, with some really good speakers. I've had to do this in order to bring technology into my classroom as technology (ie; smartboards) was being doled out to classrooms in what seemed like an arbitrary and random way. Some of us got them, some of us didn't. I wanted my classroom to somehow reflect and be a part of the technology revolution! Even our 6th grade computer lab was shut down a few years ago and we were left to compete for computer carts that slowly replaced what was once a reliable access to computers.
When we had the computer lab, I had designed web quests and research projects for my students to use. As apps became more common, I began integrating them into classroom lessons. Unfortunately, my use of apps was more for whole class demonstration given that I had the only iPad in the room. However, I hear that I may have access to an iPad cart in my new school and the potential for this has really gotten me excited.
I also use technology to maintain a website with links to a variety of resources, from HW pages (where pdfs of various assignments or resources are able to be downloaded) to links for games and educational you tube type videos. I develop an email list every year which is used to create a Newsflash allowing me to update parents about what is happening in the classroom or on the team. I'm considering looking into pushing this forward a bit this year... Twitter anyone? I'm also considering the use of video to capture mini-lessons or other information that would benefit students and families more so than if I just Newsflash info. These possibilities keep me passionate and motivated almost 3 decades after I began this wonderful journey.
Wishing you the best in your educational pursuits.