Anyone who knows me knows I like to be organized, and I like to be in charge. I think and plan WAY ahead and like systems and clear processes. I think these traits are part of what make me good at my job as a Digital Integration Specialist. But what’s made me better at my job over the last 6 years is being willing to get help and work with a larger team.
I am so fortunate to work with people in my school and in my district who are smart, passionate, and committed to making learning the best experience it can be for our students. This includes co-teaching with classroom teachers, working alongside our administrators, and helping our support staff. I also am part of a team of district Digital Integration Specialists – #FabuDIS5 . We are all incredibly dedicated to what we do and the talent in the group amazes me.
But for today’s reflections and celebration, I’d like to focus on the DFHS Technology Teacher Leaders (TTLs). These are full-time classroom teachers who also work to help train and support our teachers with all aspects of educational technology. Each year interested teachers participate in a rigorous application process (technology skills test, interview and recommendations). Once selected each TTL serves a 2 year “term.” We have 5 TTLs at our school each year.
I started as a Technology Teacher Leader (TTL) in the 2012-13 school year. I was part of an incredible team led by Julie Vandiver. This was the year leading up to our 1:1 iPad rollout, and this team worked hard to get teachers ready to embrace this new technology. We spent a lot of time on the practical “how-to” part of iPads, but also tried to include the “whys” and help teachers what might be possible with technology.
Since then, each year, we’ve had a team of 5 classroom teachers and one Digital Integration Specialist (me) to lead our school in instructional technology planning, goal setting and training. And I have to say I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished. We’ve been able to do so much more than I ever could have done as just one person. We’ve reached more content areas, more levels of students, and more teachers working together as a team.
I wish I could put my hands on photos from each of those teams right now, but I can’t. Still, each member of this team over the years has played an important role. We have challenged each other and ourselves to BE better and DO better. We see ourselves as servant leaders dedicated to helping our teachers and students however we can.
Recently, I had the privilege of notifying the newest TTLS that they had been selected. I am SO EXCITED about our new team (as, truthfully, I am each year, since each year’s team has its own strengths and its own energy.) The new 2019-20 TTLs joined us for our final 2018-19 meeting. I can’t wait to see what this group does next year!
Finally! A great pyramid concept :)! I LOVE this idea of using a team of classroom experts as tech leaders. Makes the jobs of the district techs so much easier.
What’s even better is the growth you’ve experienced…it’s hard letting go, but when you do, great things happen!