Changes…

My blogging has become less frequent as of lately, only because I have become more busy (see my last post as to why).

But this post addresses something else.  A change is about to occur for me, and this post is my attempt to explain WHY the change.  I firmly believe writing is the best way to reflect, and I feel there is some need for that here.

Changes…

I have accepted the Technology Integration Specialist position at the Keystone AEA in Elkader.  I will be traveling to schools in the Keystone district and working with teachers on how to effectively integrate technology in order to reach the levels of all learners in their 21st century classrooms.  With more schools in Iowa implementing digital learning initiatives, the demand for Tech Integration Specialists is growing and not going away.

Before people begin to speculate as to why I have chosen to pursue this career change and possibly look at the new balanced calendar that our school is investigating for next year as the reason for my decision, let me explain the real reasons.

Why Technology?

One of my first blog posts I wrote explains why I chose to pursue teaching English rather than another subject area.  And for the last eight years, that is what I have done.  Everyday I have truly enjoyed walking into a school and witness the “lightbulb” moment that students experience.  That’s my favorite part of my job, just like any other teacher.
But over the last few years, I have been able to experience something else.  I have been presenting at tech conferences, leading PD tech sessions within my building, and even working shoulder to shoulder with some of my colleagues on integrating technology.  And in doing all of this, I have witnessed the same “lightbulb” moments among teachers.  I see a new excitement for a project they have done the same way before, but now they attempt to approach it differently by using technology.  I hear a teacher come back to me with positive feedback from the project saying, “My students really liked it, and to be honest, I thought it was fun too!”  To hear this from a teacher is equally gratifying as hearing it from a student.

The Classroom…

When weighing my options, one nagging thought kept creeping into my mind – “I’m going to miss the students.”  This has been the singular reason why I got into the teaching profession in the first place.  Their energy is boundless, and I enjoy helping them deal with hardships that come with tackling middle school and high school.

I also enjoy creating an environment that attempts to offer a “place of most potential.”  This is something that came up in my methods courses at Iowa State.  With students being exposed to various environments, how could I possibly make mine to be the most conducive to learning?  I really take pride in trying to provide students a comfortable and safe learning environment that allows the best opportunity to learn.

Packing up my room at the end of this school year will be VERY difficult.

The Big Question…

So if I enjoy teaching, if I enjoy the students, if I enjoy the staff I work with, and if it’s NOT the proposed calendar, then why make the change?  It really came down to one question…How can I have the greatest impact on education?  I firmly believe that education will always be the area I wish to pursue.  However, in my years growing up through the Ed Tech boom during the turn of the millennium, I grew frustrated with the way I was learning.  I believe education CAN and SHOULD move forward into the 21st century.  The context in which students learn and exist in is always changing, yet a lot of teaching methodologies are not keeping up.  By being at the AEA versus in the classroom, I hope to have a larger impact by assisting teachers who are wanting to move forward with their teaching methods in order to provide students the best means to learn in the 21st century that they exist in.

Things That Won’t Change…

Even though I won’t be teaching in the classroom next year…

  • my family will continue to live in Elkader.
  • my kids will continue to go to Central.
  • I will continue to attend sporting events and community events.
  • I will continue to help coach the little kids wrestling program.
  • I will stay in contact with past students when possible.

Final Thoughts…

I’ve never really been one to be fearful of change.  I do embrace and look forward to the challenges that change can bring.
Through those struggles, I feel I am truly learning.
Mr. Jarod Bormann
English Rocks!
Technology Rocks!

 

P.S.  I will attempt to continue this blog and use it as a platform to hopefully share teaching methods that integrate technology.  At the end of school, the title will change.  Not sure to what though.  Any suggestions?  Leave them in the comments below.

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