Thursday, March 11, 2021

One Year Ago Today

The MACUL Conference happens every March in Michigan, and it is one of the highlights of my professional year.

Last year, I was very excited to see some of my favorite presenters, friends, and to present two sessions.  I love the MACUL setup when it's in Grand Rapids, it's so nice to be able to walk from my hotel room to the conference workshops and vendor hall.  I love being immersed in educational technology for 48 hours straight!

I was scheduled to leave Wednesday morning, my bag was packed and in the car, my tech was packed and ready.

But, like many others, I never made it.

As I headed into school for a Distance Learning meeting Wednesday morning to plan for the "if we have to close" scenario, my hopes were high.  It was comfy-cozy day of spirit week, I was happy.  I left that meeting around 11, as I had a quick doctors appointment before heading to Grand Rapids.  I was going to join the staff meeting after school remotely, and teach the staff how to use Google Meet.  After I left my appointment, I jumped on the express way only to jump off one exit later and return to school instead.

The next day, we squeezed in a more detailed training with each grade level on the ins and outs of the technology that would become the lifeblood of learning.  I emailed to cancel my sessions at MACUL, apologizing for not being able to come.  

That was the beginning of the end of education as we knew it, life as we knew it, really.

Here we are, one year later, and while there is so much that has sucked about this year, there are some rainbows that came from the storm, too.

  • Our whole staff is now fluent in teaching via Google Meet or Zoom
  • We finally rolled the 1:1 program out in K-4, instead of just 5-8
  • All our PreK - 4th grade teachers are now Seesaw Pioneers
  • All our 5th - 8th grade teachers completed the Google Education Training Level 1
  • So many of my colleagues have wonderfully integrated technology into their teaching (after several years of me modeling, hinting, nudging...!)
  • I spent many, many Friday evenings with Leslie Fisher, one of my favorite conference presenters, and guests that joined her for enlightening and engaging professional development, offered for free, because Leslie is just that awesome.
  • My toolbox had to be expanded because of all the new technology opportunities

Andy Grammar said "Only rainbows after rain."  I don't think anyone expected the rain to last this long... it's nice to see some of those rainbows, finally!

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