This has been a long and emotional week. Wednesday I was officially told that I had earned one of the three new positions as a Teacher on Special Assignment for our district. The staff were told Wednesday evening and the greater school community received an e-mail and phone blast on Thursday morning. Well, now everyone knows!
There are still a lot of unanswered questions about this new position, but it appears that I'll be working primarily with science and technology with teachers across the district in grades K-8. The whole district will have iPad's in a 1:1 environment in grades 5-8 and some schools, like Beechwood, have extended that even further down to second or third grade. Most of those iPads have been deployed or will be deployed within one calendar year. So, you can imagine how much support teachers will need to develop the needed pedagogy to use this technology effectively. And of course there are new science standards that were adopted by the State Board of Education in November. It will take a monumental effort to get everyone on board and ready to go with full implementation in the years to come.
While my official duties will not begin until the fall, Dr. Pletka has invited me to work on his iPersonalize project which is an exploration of gamification and it's application to the math and English Language Arts curriculum. It's pretty amazing to be honest. Dr. Pletka has a vision to make learning relevant and engaging to our students, but the challenge lies in that what he is asking us to do is not currently feasible using the technologies we have. But, that's okay because he is apparently hiring engineers to come work with us to make it a reality. It's an amazing opportunity and I'm thrilled to be a part of it!
New beginnings are exciting, but they also mean the conclusion of other chapters. In this case, it means that Beechwood will not be my primary home anymore. That seems really hard to believe because it's the only professional home that I've ever had. So, to all of my former students, parents, teachers and principals, I say, "Thank you." Your e-mails remind me that I was so fortunate to have started my career at Beechwood. To be clear, it's not really goodbye. Let's just go with, "See you around" because Once a Bobcat, Always a Bobcat!