I graduated college with a B.A. in English. I remember everyone assuming that my next logical step in the progression of life would be teaching. I scoffed at them! Surely my path was destined for greatness that could not be contained by the four walls of a classroom. I was right...sort of.
My first foray into teaching was at the Chewonki Foundation in Wiscasset, Maine. I served as an environmental educator for a year or so. My classroom was the great outdoors, and the teaching part of the experience, surprisingly, came easily to me. That was my first taste of teaching, and I haven't looked back since. The experience left me thirsting for my own classroom. But before I headed down that road, I decided that I should try to learn the pedagogy behind teaching. So, I headed to Boston College where I interned in a 4th grade classroom at Chestnut Hill Elementary, and worked towards a Masters in Education from Boston College. Each small stop (there was a 2 year carpentry experience as I struggled to find a job) on my teaching train, brought me closer and closer to my current position as a 4th grade teacher at the Great Salt Bay Community School in Midcoast Maine.
My first experience with my very own classroom was a bit of a whirlwind. People kept coming to me with valuable bits of advice to help me along the way, but the one thing that always stuck with me was, "Don't stress out. You don't have to reinvent the wheel." True I guess. I don't have to reinvent the wheel. But what if the old wheel doesn't work right? What if the old wheel's spokes are made up of worksheets, drill and kill, sage on the stage, more listening than doing, etc.?
There lies my fascination with the use of technology in the classroom. I enjoy it's ability to reinvent the old wheel of teaching. It's not enough to have technology replace traditional teaching methods, but its power lies within its ability to take teaching to a whole new level. With technology in the classroom, my I can engage, differentiate, collaborate, assess, communicate, debate, create...and the list seems to go on and on as I discover the next big thing. So, please join me as I celebrate proven tools and learn from unfortunate mistakes.