This school year is right upon us, and it is sure to bring with it a lot of changes. I know this because as I begin my 26th year in education there has never been a year yet that did not bring with it a lot of changes. That being said, I can also say that there has never been a school year yet that the teachers at White Oak Intermediate School did not accept and master all new challenges by the time that May rolled around. It is that kind of character and courage that makes me so excited about the 2009-2010 school year.
You see, I begin a new job assignment at White Oak this year, and I am excited about the challenges. As in years past, I will continue to wear many hats. As the campus Testing Coordinator, I have designed my website to provide information for teachers, parents, and community. I encourage you to visit it for yourself and let me know if there is information missing that you would like to see included. I have separate pages linked for each grade level so that parents and teachers do not have to sort through to find information specifically targeted for them. These websites are not yet fully developed, but will be undergoing changes as the year progresses. I also have a Teacher Feature page that will spotlight a single teacher. Watch for who will appear throughout the year. Because our students also deserve recognition, you will also find a Student Feature page. It is because of the students that we find fulfillment in our positions.
My new blog, Don’t Get Testy!, will have posts in three categories – Teacher Interests, Student Interests, and Random Interests. At the top of my blog page, you will always find the campus calendar with the complete agenda for our students and staff. Teacher Interests posts will relay information that I receive to the faculty. I suggest that you subscribe to this blog and read these postings to be kept abreast of any new information regarding testing and education that I might receive and pass on. Student Interests posts will include some blog challenges this year and will also elicit responses from our student population as well as student populations outside our classroom walls. We can no longer be confined by this building, nor should we expect our students to be. Random Interests will be precisely that – my random thoughts. These will not necessarily be the position of our school, but rather my personal views on matters of importance to me.
I will continue to serve at the Response to Intervention Manager and maintain those records in my office. Links to our intervention team’s webpages are also included on my website. Parents will be encouraged to visit those to get a better understanding of what their children are being offered through RtI.
Perhaps one of the most exciting aspects of my job will be the opportunity to directly work with the staff in the use of technology in the classroom. Already I have met with third grade teachers, and I am watching them swiftly develop virtual curriculum for their students across all subjects. Other teachers are also meeting during the summer months and planning to use technology this year in the classroom. We will be introducing our campus’s own Moodle site during our inservice days in August. This site, The VIEW – Virtual Intermediate Education at White Oak – will be the hub of our virtual curriculum, and we encourage you to visit its pages and register for a new account so that you and your students can share in its benefits.
So – Help? Do you need somebody? I will make every attempt to be available to you to help you with your website, blogs, Moodle lessons, or any other project that might involve the use of technology. Grade levels are already developing experts in some of these areas, and with each bit of knowledge gained, we are better able to spread that knowledge to our teaching family and therefore to our students. All you have to do is call…..or in the case of the 21st century classroom, just email, text, or IM……..and I’ll be there.
Bring on the challenges!