Having recently retired from Orange County Public Schools after a nearly forty year career in education, I’m afforded the opportunity to reflect not only on the many ways in which I’ve had a chance to teach, but also the many opportunities I’ve had to learn. Here are a few that come to mind, in no particular order:
- Technology in the classroom is evolving at an ever-increasing pace
- Students are fearless with tech. They are unafraid to push, poke, and play around. I love that.
- Teachers are not quite as fearless, but with every new year they are more comfortable with the concept that students may know more about technology than they do.
- Teachers and students take for granted the back-end work required to make the technology work.
- Passwords. So. Many. Passwords.
- Vendors create so much noise that it can be hard to separate the wheat from the chaff.
- There is no such thing as too much bandwidth.
- Same goes for coffee. In fact, most tech folks I know would go barefoot before going without coffee.
- Relationships matter the most. From talking a teacher back from the precipice to breaking in new IT staff to explaining to a vendor that they just don’t get it, there’s nothing more important that managing relationships.
There’s so much more I could add to this list, but I think it’s this last point – relationships – that I keep coming back to. I’ve had the luxury of meeting and building relationships with people from all aspects of education, from all regions of the country.
There’s nothing more exciting than meeting open-minded folks who want nothing more than to be agents of change. Educators are good people, and I’m proud to be one of them.