Five years ago, we dared to dream – created our first teacher support role dedicated to focusing on in servicing and supporting elementary teachers to use educational technology in the most effective ways. It seemed like the right approach, at the right time to forge a new path forward, create interest, synergy, and impact the future. Susan Watt was the successful candidate for the position – and the journey began!
Standing now in 2015, and looking back, what a journey it has been. A new path was definitely forged. I look back fondly on all of the annual “system tours” as they were affectionately known – professional learning for staff at each school — using a dual boot Mac, what can I do with an iPad, we have wifi hotspots – now what, wifi in the classroom, GAFE, chromebooks, dropbox and more. Another important project was migrating our acceptable use procedure (AUP) to the responsible use procedure (RUP) where our initial thinking about staff as digital citizenship role models and use of social media for positive purposes was captured. I could of course, list many more highlights, but you have the idea of system impact.
In her retirement speech, Susan challenged her colleagues: “ So, I have some advice for our retiree supporters tonight: go off script, listen and respond to your students’ spontaneous questions and observations. Understand that every moment is teachable. Don’t settle for the status quo. If it doesn’t feel good for kids, challenge it. If it’s being done a certain way just because it’s always been done that way – question that rationale. Follow your heart and intuition. Explore new options. Take a risk. Embrace change.”
Susan, it has been a privilege to work with you. Thank you for your creativity, determination, enthusiasm, ability to see a big picture, having a huge positive impact, and, perhaps most of all, daring to dream.
I look forward to staying connected and following along your life journey via your new blog: Watts Up Next. Thank YOU!