My friends have a running joke about my need to cling to my "Old School" ways. I am sure they will be happy to know that I have begun my journey into the 21st Century and am well on my way. This is a journey that I share with many including my family, colleagues, students, and community. Sometimes life has a way of guiding us when we get stuck and need to move ahead in order to grow and forge new pathways for ourselves. Sometimes life throws us a curveball and we need to extend ourselves to meet it.
The next step in my journey as a Fulbright TGC fellow was our convergence on Washington D.C. for the Symposium. This was an opportunity to come face to face with all of the teachers we had been interacting with via various digital platforms. In addition, we were also learning how to use the various digital tools to engage our students both in our own classrooms a well as virtually to connect to students and teachers in other states. Unfortunately, we have too soon come upon the need to implement our newly found skills as a result of the current Coronavirus Pandemic and the resulting need for school closures. Fortunately, however, we were able to explore and develop our ability to interact with our students in virtual mode to be able to address the current need for remote engagement to facilitate continuing educational growth for our students. As a result, I will be conducting my first virtual advisory tomorrow via google meet. It took a bit of trial and error and researching on how to go about it as google meet does not, as yet, have a direct connection to my google classroom roster. Interestingly, I made the announcement on google classroom and was immediately met with enthusiasm from several students. Not only were they enthusiastic but they also offered to assist me with the set up if I needed any help navigating the technological aspect of setting up the meet. Talk about the intrinsic rewards associated with being a teacher.
As a result of the Pandemic, I am putting to use skills I have learned as part of the Fulbright TGC course. In addition, I have familiarized myself with a wealth of resources available for creating a powerful platform for virtual teaching for my students and their parents. Unfortunately, we have been advised by our school district that we cannot teach during this time due to equity issues revolving around student access to technology. Nonetheless, I am able to provide the tools for the students and their families to pursue on their own.
Wish me luck on my first virtual advisory. Stay tuned for the next installment on my Fulbright TGC journey. "Building the Capstone"