As I start this blog, I am also preparing to begin a new role in a new place. For the last five years, I taught 6th graders in Manhattan, KS. These just so happened to be the first five years of my career in education. Throughout those five years I developed and nurtured a passion for integrating technology into my curriculum. I realized a deeply held belief that teachers should be looking for ways to innovate in their classrooms daily, and not sticking with traditional teaching methods or strict curriculum just because we are told that they will help our kids pass a test. Our students deserve our best, most intriguing, and engaging pedagogy that we have to offer.
My final year as a 6th grade teacher came to an end this May. This coming school year I will be starting a new adventure as the District Integration Technology Specialist for Buhler Schools in Buhler, KS. I am ecstatic to be starting a job that centers so perfectly around my passions for education and technology and the successful marrying of the two. During my interview for this position, I found out that Buhler has three pillars that drive what they do. These pillars are innovation, collaboration, and culture.
Not all districts and school leaders so readily and apparently encourage constant innovation. Who could blame them, with the environment that high-stakes testing has created? We read stories all the time about the strict curriculum that teachers are asked to follow in order to prepare their students for these tests. Obviously these expectations squash innovation and creativity that teachers may have to bring into the classroom.
So, here I am, my colleagues in Buhler and I have been given permission to innovate, and if I might be so bold, I give you permission to innovate as well.