Being Called Up....

Being Called Up....

I started my career in education in a small 2A school an hour north of Manhattan. My husband and I choose that small school district for a few reasons.  It was the school my husband had attended and his family was right there.  We were a young couple with a young family building our lives together, we needed the support.  I just left K-State in December with my BS in Elementary Education and had planned on going after my masters in January. I started out as a sub for the school district which quickly led me taking over the computer labs.  The school district had two grade schools, one in each small town with the high school/ middle school in the country between the two towns.  Since there were two grade schools they had two computer labs.  I ended up being the computer lab teacher, but I wasn't being paid as a teacher or really treated as a teacher.  In the past the person in the lab was a para and the time the kids spent in the lab was play time. The kids going to the lab was really a break for the teachers and the other paras.

When I stepped into the computer lab teacher roll I had to change how others saw the lab, how others saw me.  The time in the computer lab for the kids went from a play time to a learning environment.  Soon I wasn't just teaching the kids I was staying after school teaching my colleagues.  The school district had wrote a grant the year before and received some SMARTBoards.  Those boards sat unused for a year.  The principal asked me what could I do with these boards and would I share with the staff.  She ended up giving me not one SMARTBoard to use but two.

While I was building relationships with the staff and teaching them how to create lessons on the SMARTBoard, one of the teachers just mentioned that I should send in a proposal to the Mid-America Association for Computers in Education a.k.a. MACE.  If my proposal was accepted then the school district couldn't turn me down and would let me attend the conference.  I took a chance and sent in my proposal.  It needed up being accepted for the summer MACE conference in Kansas City in 2004.

I freaked out just a little, well a lot.  Here I was a new teacher with a young family just trying to stay afloat.  All I could think about was who am I that people would want to go hear and learn from.  My husband just kept telling me to try it.  He would take me to Kansas City and be there if I needed someone to lean on.  So I went to the conference. He dropped me off, handed me the cell phone and told me to knock their socks off.  I walked into a packed room and then really freaked out. These people were all here to learn from me.  I took a deep breath and told myself I'm in my classroom and I'm just teaching.  The whole presentation ended up being a blur for me.  What I didn't know was the SMART Technologies rep was in the room and watched my whole presentation.  He approached me after my presentation.  I will never forget the first words he said to me.  "We need you to teach teachers."  He offered me a job right then on the spot to train teachers how to make learning come alive.  When my husband picked me up from the conference I told him what had happened.  We talked long and hard about what it would mean for our family. I couldn't accept that job at that time.  My family needed me.

Since that day I have presented at several regional, national, and international conferences speaking on a variety of tech ed topics.  I've also had the honor to provide teachers with a wide range of workshops were they were able to learn with a hands on approach.  I've been offered numerous jobs all in the field of technology education.  The timing or the situation hasn't been right or it just wasn't the right fit for me to move a head. I had also never really felt that I was really a major league player, not until my proposal for the 2014 ISTE conference was accepted. Now I'm not thinking who am I, it is more like where can I go next.

I want to travel the world and share technology education along with my story.  I am no longer the young beginning teacher trying to change how people see her.  I'm the tiger that has earned her strips, that has the battle scars, and that is ready to change how you see and use technology.  I've been called up to play with the major league players.  I am on the batting lineup and I can't wait to hit it out of the park.

How can I help you? -

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