Today is my first day back with students. It's the real start to the school year. The first few weeks can sometimes be overwhelming when you start thinking about all the hurdles and expectations. I've seen many a young teacher with sweaty brow and shaking hands stumbling through the hall ways during the first week mumbling, "It's too much. It's too much."
My advice: Relax and look for the good things. It is so easy to get caught up with the problems, the lack of resources, and bad coffee. You'll do fine.
In that vein, I thought I'd share a positive article from Edutopia.com called "Overcoming Technology Barriers: How to Innovate Without Extra Money or Support" It's written with the struggling teacher in mind, giving him or her some advice on how to start using technology in their classrooms now. Don't wait for your state or district to come through with those funds, all you need to be innovative is you. Here are the main points:
- Innovate with the Tools You Already Have
- Seek Out Free, Easy-to-Use Digital Resources
- Overcome Your Fear of the Unknown
- Start with Small, Fast Projects That Enhance Learning
- Learn with Your Students
Of course, teachers don't need to wait for districts to create formal opportunities for professional growth. "Find someone to learn with, a study group or buddy in your own building or in another school," Conery says. "Take a unit you love and talk about how you can infuse technology to enhance learning and go even deeper."
It's not about the stuff," Carleton emphasizes. "It's about making connections and working with what you already have.
[Image: "No money in Switzerland": Flickr: Uploaded on November 12, 2006 by pug freak: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pugfreak/295278828/]