CFBISD- Educational Foundation hosted a heartwarming recognition breakfast this morning. Fortunately, I was able to attend, leaving my 1st period English II class with a willing substitute. The EF honored me last spring with a $1,000 grant which I used to purchase five Ipod touches for use in my workshop classroom. I love that when students ask a question that I do not immediately know the answer to I can hand them a cool piece of technology and tell them to “look it up.” My students think I’m cool because most of their other teachers stick to the taboo of no electronic devices in the classroom. (It is in our Code of Conduct…but seriously, the Code needs updated.) I believe that we need to embrace technology, and allow the digital natives we teach to use their natural ability to navigate the world of knowledge so readily available to them. Our duty as teachers is to help our students learn to use the technology responsibly and like Mr. Coleman, principal at a local middle school who sat at my table this morning, stated: “Give students a task to do with the technology. The task is what makes the difference.” Besides, who wants to fight the “put it away” battle when the war isn’t really about the technology, it’s about the learning?
I thank God for organizations like the Educational Foundation–organizations that work so hard to enrich the learning experience of students and the working lives of teachers.
After the breakfast, I arrived at school rejuvenated, thanked my substitute, and felt an intense desire to smile a little more today. Thirty-four amazing teenagers greeted me, and as I smiled, they smiled back. Now, that’s a delightful morning.