The past two years, while serving as an instructional technology coach in multiple schools, I had the opportunity to work with many teachers. But the teachers didn't come to see me; rather, a great portion of my day is spent peer coaching in the classrooms.
As I go from room to room, students sit at their own desks amidst familiar surroundings. I am a guest in their home. A portion of my day is spent demonstrating how to be a guest. Such demonstrations include introducing myself, asking permission to use their things, requesting information on how I might find a tissue or the light switch, learning how to use the classroom equipment such as the projector or speakers.
It’s not always comfortable being the guest. For me, I’ve always been more comfortable inviting others into my familiar spaces.
It’s not always comfortable moving from school to school or room to room.
My day is consumed by snippets of work time in various places, moving from the media center to the lounge or even to a quiet hallway for lesson planning squeezed between collaborative lessons in the classroom. I pack my belongings into my bag and wonder what I have forgotten at my last stop. Was it my jacket? My power cord? Where is my banana? Did I leave it at home? I won’t find it for weeks, while it rots under my car seat.
Yes, these are a few of my daily challenges.
Sometimes my best visits are only 5 or 10 minutes. I might record the class observe a squiggling, disgusting, leech under the document camera: a view that is 1000x bigger than life! Do we really need to see a leech that big??? Just ask a third grader….they’ll tell you!
Perhaps I will visit kindergarten and we will read a book. What I really mean is, we will project the pictures from the book onto a screen along with bouncing words for them to read aloud. In sign language.
Or maybe while I wheel the laptop cart, and students will smile and greet me in the halls with “Do we get to use the computers today? Pleeeaase….
Thank you for allowing me to be a guest in your school and in your classroom. Continue to explore exciting ways to connect with your learner; I too will continue to learn how to connect with you, the t-e-a-c-h-e-r.