Let me just do a little introduction first...
My name is Bridget and I started my teaching career in July 2005. I started teaching a lovely year 6 class and although I loved all things computer previously to starting, my class had already been set up and all my ICT passion couldn't be implemented due to the fact I was a BT, terrified of making changes and the class had one ancient computer! I made a huge mistake by trying to fit into a mould and doing the job of a teacher who was nothing like me! She was much older and not interested in anything technology. The school didn't communicate with emails or anything... some days I had no reason at all to turn on a computer and all class work was done at home on my own computer.
So 2006 begins and I have the confidence behind me to make room 20 my own. I begin adding my personality to my new class and getting the children rotating on the lonely computer doing mostly publishing, power point presentations and search engines for their action learning (a way of teaching that was being implemented into the school on my arrival).
2007- and teaching a year 5 and 6 class now I decided to purchase a laptop of my own to use in class and get more rotations going on the computer. I continued to buy CD's for children to save their work on. We showed our work to other groups, but never to whole class and I stayed safe using publishing in word, power point and search engines- although the laptop didn't have internet so children who wanted to use search engines had to wait until the ancient box in the corner was free....
2008-Year 5 class- The Eastnet cluster was introduced at the beginning of the year and in a staff meeting teachers were asked who was interested and to apply to Bruce. This was my chance to get on the ground floor of something fabulous and something I loved doing!
I applied- and missed out :-( I was gutted!
After the first term a lead teacher got a job in another school and an opening for a new lead teacher was going up for grabs- I jumped at my chance! So my journey begins- Bridget Smith- Lead teacher!!!!!!!
I felt like I spent the rest of the year catching up (The other had already been to a conference in Rotorua and returned jam packed with fabulous ideas) I felt a little less confident- and took a bit of a backseat waiting to find a program or website I could use with my kids.....
I began implementing things I had taken away from our lead teacher days- the kids could do it- and they loved it! I was feeling passionate again!
Laptops were intoduced, wireless networks, digital cameras (although shared).... and I moved up from CD's to a memory stick! PS I also welcomed a mimio and projector into the class :-)
2009- A move to the middle school and teaching year 3 and 4's- could they do ICT being so young??? A wiki site was set up by the lead teachers- my job was to search and find interactive websites aimed directly at the middle school. So ICT began to flood through the door... we began blogging, using interactive websites, web2 tools, you name it.... we were doing it!
2010- OMG I AM NOW THE HEAD OF ICT!!!!!!! Can you believe it? What a huge shift, and a great experience. A busy year running a class full time, doing action research, writing milestone reports and learning the ropes of systems, training experts, running a team, and running staff PD.
So begins my PMI to sum up my personal 3 years experience.....
PLUS= So many positives!!! Computer programs, websites, search engines, web2 tools, interactive sites, mimios, projectors, action research, meeting new people and visiting new schools, being on the ground floor of introducing inquiry, projectors, flip minos, digital cameras, easispeaks... you name it BDS now have it and we are active!
I cannot thank Belinda enough for helping me in my career. I have learnt so much from her but more importantly and above the thousands of new programs I can and o use.... the students in my class love school and learning!
MINUS= I have one negative and that is the workload- Running a classroom full time and doing all of the other responsibilities I have in the school- not related to ICT (like magazine and Dance group) I really really struggled sometimes to feel passionate- as is evident in my reflections throughout my lead teacher blog posts.
INTERESTING= I found our lead teacher days inspiring and the conferences interesting. You become a better teacher when you leave your little box and visit other schools and grab new ideas. When you challenge and force yourself to implement something new into the classroom quickly to retain that new knowledge from a lead teacher day- even though you feel so tired and overloaded with work- you know the rewards of watching the kids be so excited will wipe away that initial "I can't be bothered attitude" and you can can go home knowing- you made a difference today :-).
What an experience- I am so happy to have been a part of watching that huge shift in our school, and I am a better teacher for it. Very pleased that we will continue to meet next year- it's all about sustainability!