This eMINTS Affiliate newsletter is designed to share information about what is happening with the eMINTS National Center and in the many districts nationwide that are a part of the eMINTs Affiliate family. We are looking for our next contributor for this column. What are you doing in your district? What have you learned as you implement eMINTS professional development in your situation? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss how you can be our next featured Affiliate. We can't wait to hear your story!
REaD Carmen's Words of Wisdom:
Relationship Building is Key to Success
This year I started a new adventure. After years of providing professional learning, I stepped back into school as an educational technology specialist. My work is mainly in a K-5 building. Our teachers share a technology toolkit of iPads, Chromebooks and MacAirs. The carts provide almost a 1-1 environment and allow teachers to choose the device which best meets their students’ needs.
Along with managing these devices, a big part of my position is coaching teachers in effective uses of technology. It is key to build relationships first. Teachers are very passionate about what they do. Teachers take great pride and responsibility for their learners. There must be a deep level of trust to be vulnerable about your craft with someone else. To help build relationships, I took whatever opportunity there was to connect and show people that I was willing to jump into the deep water and support them. At the start of the year I helped set up a SMART board and did tons of printer troubleshooting, this helped me get to know people and the culture of the building. Through these interactions trust began to form and I was slowly invited in to be a second pair of hands or to help plan a lesson. I utilized my skills of listening, staying positive and paraphrasing to make sure I was meeting the teachers’ needs. I also tried to be very transparent. If I didn’t know an answer, I was honest, did some research and responded in a timely fashion. Following through on what I said I would do was key.
I continue to build relationships on a daily basis and depend on my coaching skills to set goals, plan, reflect and when needed collaborate and consult. I wanted to find a way to celebrate and share all the great things happening in our building so I created “Tech Tidbits”. This is a monthly newsletter sharing what teachers are doing in their classrooms and other quick tidbits and reminders. Since email is often overlooked, I send out a digital copy of the newsletter and then post a hard copy in high traffic areas-by the copier and on the back of the restroom doors. Then I added a little sign saying you have a digital copy with live links in your email. The feedback has been very positive, teachers are aware of the cool projects taking place and I continue to build relationships as teachers read what is happening and inquire about trying out new things in their rooms. Here a few examples of “Tech Tidbits:” September,October, and November.
How do you build relationships? What are some ways you share projects and resources across grade levels?