This is a post Val Garton from the IU13 Powerful Learning Community in Pennsylvania, shared recently.  I enjoyed it because it reminds us both that you have to jump in and get started … doing so knowing someone is there if needed helps … but also sometimes its best to just get out of the way (the same thing happens in our classrooms doesn’t it?). Enjoy!

So, Heidi sets up the projector and laptop by herself. I was there in case she needed me. – Nope!

And then she takes off! – Showing the Animoto slide show she made. Everyone was so impressed!!! They loved it and wanted to make one themselves!!! Heidi shared how easy it was. (I wish I would have written down some of the things she said back then, because I forget now. However, her attitude was like, “Of course, we can and should be doing this. Why wouldn’t we?”

There wasn’t any time for Keri to present, so the principal said she could do it at the next meeting, which would include both elem. and middle school teachers.

The next day, three teachers had made their own Animotos! They were so proud of themselves and of their creations!

When it was Keri’s turn, she shared a teacher’s blog she had seen at the conference. I didn’t write down what she said to the teachers, but she said some things we had heard in PLP and by the speakers at the PLP conference and the elem. conference, about owing it to our students to use technology with them, that this is the world they are living in.

I had nothing to add. …. I didn’t need to…..and they said it better than I could have…. and they made more of an impression with the staff than I could have.

And at the next elem. faculty meeting, for some reason the principal didn’t have enough items on the agenda to fill 90 minutes, so he asked me if I wanted to share any tech. I said, “Of course”, and ran to tell Heidi to do a workshop on Animoto so the rest of the elem teachers could try it! ….. What a success! The teachers were all excited and all that were there made one. (except our 2 dear souls who always have trouble).

Sharing the burden or ownership and letting the teachers catch the fire of technology and letting them share with each other is looking to be more effective than I ever realized. All these years, I have hung onto the responsibility for some reason. Or maybe no one would ever take it on, until PLP. Having all of us have our eyes opened together about all of this is giving us a connection with each other, and it’s empowering to not be alone in this, and to feel you have a “mission” kind of, or something so important to share and teach. By letting the others run with it, I feel less burdened (kind of), or at least that my role is changing, and their roles are changing, and that it’s a good thing, because all of us will be more effective than one of us. And we can support each other in all of this.

I think Heidi, Gena, and Keri will make more of a difference because the teachers can relate to them because they are “one of them”. If Heidi, Keri, and Gena can do it, then they can, too. Maybe they think all of this comes easy to me. Also, if they see that it’s important to the PLPeeps, they will think that maybe it should be important to them, too. I always thought it should work this way, and I’ve seen it work this way in other schools. It’s just that no other teachers really took on that role or “understood” what it was all about until PLP. Heidi, Keri, and Gena get it. I’m so thankful for their willingness to be involved in this. I see how much I need them in order to make a difference in the way of technology at school. Having them involved motivates me to keep learning, too. It’s good to have them to bounce ideas off of and get the teacher’s perspective.

Val Garton

Thanks Val!

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