1 Two 1, Collaboration, iOS, Kuwait

Advice needed for Technology Coaches

In February, my husband and I were hired as Technology Coaches at an international school going 1:1 this fall with iPads. This position was a brand new position and we were told we were hired because of our experiences working in 1:1 environments and giving PD. We found out a couple months later that they had hired a 3rd coach to work with us (no longer would we be working as a husband-wife team, but with another person whom we had never met). Upon arrival in August, we found out that the three of us would be working as a K-12 team (our school has about 1800 students and is divided into divisions – elementary, middle, high). We are excited about this new venture, but are in need of all the help we can get in order to be successful. As a team, the three of us came up with the following job description….

The primary role of the technology coach is to collaborate with teachers in order to
integrate technology in a meaningful and effective way in their classrooms. Responsibilities may include:
– assisting teachers in lesson planning regarding the integration of technology in ways
that support teacher goals and further student achievement.
– facilitating school-based high-quality professional development across all grade levels
(prek-12) and subject areas.
– meeting and working with teachers in teams or individually on an ongoing basis to refine
 their knowledge and skills. Examples include in-class coaching, peer observing,
and/or modeling of instructional strategies.

It is up to the three of us to make the K-12 vision of the admin a successful reality. If you have experience as a Technology Integration Coach (or a similar title), working as a K-12 team of teachers…or any other relevant expertise, please share below!

MANY MANY MANY THANKS!

iOS, Kuwait

New Beginnings

As you may (or may not) know, my husband and I moved to Kuwait to begin our international education career as Technology Coaches at an International Baccalaureate (IB) World school in Kuwait. We arrived LATE Friday night and have been in orientation with all the new staff since then. We’ve been constantly busy (in a good way) setting up our apartment and getting to know the other new teachers. Today was the first day with the entire staff back to school. It’s been an interesting journey so far.

We were hired as Technology Coaches in February and are still figuring out exactly what that will look like. Today was a great day for as us we got more information about the 1:1 iPad roll-out (we aren’t really involved in the logistics..yay!) and had time to meet as a team (me, my husband and the other coach) to creating a job description that we can share with faculty & staff. Our goal is to get the message across from day 1 that we are here to help teachers meaningfully integrate technology into their lesson plans.

The Big News: The school has been scrambling for a French teacher since finding out 2 weeks ago that the hired teacher needed to stay home for a family emergency. Yesterday I was asked to take over her part-time load (3 French classes) until they can find a permanent teacher. I agreed, with the clause that it is truly temporary (maximum 1 semester). Although everything can change before school starts on September 4th, I am currently teaching 9th and 10th grade French (both part of the Middle Years Program – MYP) and 11th grade French (Diploma Program level 1). I have incredibly mixed emotions and I’m going to try really hard not to stress until Sunday when I know for sure if I’ll be starting the year in the classroom on Tuesday.

I hope everyone has had a great start to the school year or is eagerly awaiting the first day of school!

Chromebooks

Open Letter to My Students

I know I haven’t posted in awhile. I don’t know how teachers juggle all the different things they have to deal with and still blog regularly! I have lots of ideas to talk about…just might have to wait a bit 🙂

Today was my last day with my advisory students. I have been meeting with them monthly or weekly since my first year (3 years!). They will be graduating on June 1st…I can’t believe how fast time has gone! Because of this, I decided that today was the best day to let all my students in on my secret. I started class by instructing them to get their Chromebooks, log into their email, read the most recent email from me and not talk about it until we discussed as a class.

Here is the letter I wrote them…

I was incredibly impressed by the questions my students asked. It was a great teachable moment – we talked about where Kuwait is, what’s around it, what language they speak, how people dress there and many other topics.

It feels great to finally have this off my chest so that I can openly talk about it with my students 🙂

Update: I not only sent this letter to my current students but also my former students. I received 2 of the nicest emails I have ever received. Two of the sweetest (and smartest) girls I have taught responded with words that every teacher wants to hear. Going to file them for a rainy day!