I interviewed a colleague who is currently teaching Grade 4 and is in her fifth year of teaching, with two years in contract and three years as a Teacher on Call. The colleague is female and the interview took place after school in her classroom. She describes herself as “not a techy person.”
Teacher’s goal is to become a learning support teacher and approached our current learning support teachers with the observation about her class “I really think that half of it because I want to be a learning support teacher and so being in this classroom and seeing kids struggle.” It was the conversations with these colleagues that “It was conversations with our learning support teachers here at school to say how can I have these students who have really showed me nothing, and have no motivation, how can I have them show me that they understand fractions, or that they understand addition, or they understand multiplication, and having those conversations was really kind of pivotal, I think, okay I am going to do this.” She shows how having people to collaborate with gave her the confidence to try and implement technology to support her vulnerable learners. The second piece was that “they gave me easy ways to put it into practice, …, at first I was a little overwhelmed with including technology but they kind of broke it down and says this is how you could show their learning in this Math unit.” Having that peer face to face time the teacher identified as pivotal in her desire to try implementing technology into her classroom.
Teacher was able to access in school co-teaching this year to support integration of technology in her classroom. She comments that “I think that really helped, because I was even watching her to figure out what to do and how to make it work” and shows the value of allowing a safe place for teacher to be learner as well.
Teacher introduced two projects this term using iPad’s. The first one was to demonstrate their understanding of a math concept and the second was to complete a project in Science. She comments that “the kids just soared once they figured out how to use it, and then how to go further and above and beyond with it.” This idea of keeping students involved in the process was further enhanced when she shared the success of a student that was shy to present or talk in class. The student was able to share by “all they did was touch the button and I think that takes away a lot of their fear when they share with their class.” Finally, she talked about the varied levels of each students projects but “for other kids to see that’s where you can go, it was kind of neat.”