Finding Our Way Off the Plateau

I have been feeling a little defeated lately.  This happens occasionally for brief periods of time because I get overextended, stressed out or tired and then something happens and I am reinvigorated, but unfortunately I haven’t fully shaken it yet.

At times I am not really sure what it is exactly that is plaguing me.  I love my school, the kids are great, the teachers and administrators I work with are outstanding, and overall, we do a great job… better than most schools (at least I like to think).  So, I should be content.  Maybe my expectations are too high, but I think we should be doing more.  My school is six years old and it is our sixth year with our one-to-one laptop initiative, and I feel like when we started we were continually growing and actively striving to learn and improve.  We went above and beyond to learn new and innovative ways to implement technology in the classroom, to actively engage students and to make the curriculum relevant, but I feel like in the last year or so we have reached a plateau that we just can’t seem to find our way off.

Don’t get me wrong… there are certainly still teachers on my campus who go above and beyond “the call of duty” to teach their curriculum in innovative and relevant ways and there are teachers who are using technology in amazing ways, but there are also teachers who are stagnating – teachers who feel there is nothing left to learn or nothing worth learning.  I no longer feel the climate of continued growth and optimism for learning that I have felt in the past and I want it back, but it seems to be ever elusive.

I know my teachers are working hard.  I know they want what is best for their students.  I know they are tired and feel pulled in too many directions with preparing for TAKS testing, AP testing, SAT preparation and simply trying to help their students achieve basic math, science and literacy skills.

I need to know how I convince them to take some time for themselves to help them grow and improve professionally.  I would love to convince them that introducing some Web 2.0 technologies like blogs and wikis might actually help students prepare for the TAKS test and add some relevancy to their curriculum, but I only have a handful of teachers that seem to be buying in to the concept.  And although I didn’t comment on Will Richardson’s rant, I appreciate his post and the eloquent way he verbalized my thoughts.

Speaking of rants, thanks for listening to mine.  I would love any suggestions you guys might have… 

Maybe it is just time for my Thanksgiving Break. 🙂

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6 Comments on “Finding Our Way Off the Plateau”

  1. kstringer Says:

    Angela,
    It just takes time. Between lesson plans, grading, PACE, staff meetings, team meetings, department meetings, breakfast preparations, specialty programs, field trips, planning freshman through senior meetings, fundraising,student meetings, sip’s,SAS, Staff Development, content area programs that we attend, labs to set up and take down, copies to be made, and on and on. And I didn’t even mention TAKS tutoring after school and on weekends. Most of us have families and spend our personal time working when we should be fixing dinner or reading to our own children. We are stretched so thin. Learning technology is important, but we have to do it a step at a time. It is frustrating for us too that we can’t do it all, now. For example: I am trying to set up adaptive release for the first time this 6 weeks. So I have had to review the basic “how to set it up.” Then have the vision and goal of what am I trying to accomplish. I need to have all of my activities and have figured out how I am going to differentiate those activities. I have been working on it for weeks but I feel like I barely know anything. Eventually I would like to narrate my powerpoints, make podcasts, use producer,have a wiki. So, yes we are trying. But web 2.0 for me is not until later this year or next year.
    I appreciate all that you do for our campus, it is the best and so are you. We need you. Please don’t lose hope in us.
    Kathleen

  2. Mrs. Durff Says:

    At least your school has more than one teacher doing Web 2.0 technologies! It’s an uphill battle, but it’s worth it in terms of preparing students for the 21st century!!

  3. Beverly Stone Says:

    Yes, believe me, I want to do this. I have often thought of getting my kids onto blogs and all these fun things. Like Kathryn says, it takes time that I don’t have. If they gave us time during in service days set aside just to set up more technology items, I would use more. But we seem to be behind the curve all the time. We need a little time to get ahead of it so we can learn and incorporate some fun technology. (That is when the somewhat unreliable internet is working. I could barely even give TEKS checks today due to slow internet issues. )


  4. […] My Flickr Photos More Photos « Finding Our Way Off the Plateau […]

  5. Shayd Speed Says:

    Hi Angela,
    Don’t get depressed, you are doing a great job! The Academy is light years ahead of the norm. Tell everyone hi for me….

    Shayd


  6. Thanks for the comments. You guys are great!

    Good to hear from you Speedy. 🙂


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