Friday, February 12, 2010

Good News...Bad News...Good News

Okay...good news first:

Just within the past 24 hours I received two really nice compliments about our Tech Coaching. The first came from a principal who said he has been hearing some very positive things about what we are doing. The second came from a teacher this morning who called me a life saver--not that I actually fit that description, but she told me that she trusted me because I was a teacher and not just a tech--otherwise she would have been turned off. I loved hearing that because when Layne and Neil opened this position, that was one specific requirement---had to have classroom experience.

Now these two compliments couldn't have come at a better time because, well, here is the bad news:

Our 21st Century Classroom roll-out has now been pushed back for at LEAST a month. Microsoft red tape is the issue, but this endeavor is one of the main reasons why we were hired as a Technology Coach. I've certainly been busy--even swamped--with many other issues, but it is so frustrating knowing what is coming, what is possible, and just barely out of reach. The look on some teachers/principals faces when we have to say "it will be a little longer"--sometimes I think they think I'm joking around. I wished I was... I'd love to take our extra set of equipment and model in some of the classrooms that lack technology, but it reminds me of that Ally Bank commercial where the little girl is given a bike, but told she has to ride it within the 3-foot rectangle. We could use the equipment for an hour or even a day, but to have any sort of impact, it needs to be a part of the classroom...and that's going to take a while.

So, what's the good news embedded in all of this?

I would say that the time I have spent so far this year has been great in helping me learn the ropes of this new position. I feel solid in the software/hardware. (I couldn't have said that last fall) I feel I've made some wonderful teacher contacts. I've written middle school S&B for next fall--which will be a great change for our MS tech program. I now know my way around every elementary, middle, and high school. I've found my way around our new administrative building. And I've learned that change is not something that happens automatically or quickly.

Where do I begin....

Well, it's been another crazy couple of weeks. We are trying desperately to get this Microsoft settlement figured out. We think we have it and they change the rules on us. We keep getting pushed back further and further. I know eventually it will happen, but I am tired of telling teachers and principals, "soon". "It's still full go, we just have to be patient." I don't know how many more times I can go out and get excited about the technology roll out before teachers tell me to leave.
I know we are doing everything in our power to get this going. It's not our fault we keep getting pushed back. It's just frustrating. I keep coming back to a few blogs I have done in the past. We find it very difficult to get in to classrooms and co-teach and model, when the teachers can't use what we have shown them. It's a tease. It's like teaching your 15 year old kid to drive, but you never let them get behind the wheel to use what you have talked about and shown them.
We'll get to where we need to be soon enough.