And so I begin a new chapter. I like the use of the word chapter to describe a life change. The beginning parts of the story are still there. The previous narrative was leading up to this point in the plot.
Those of you who know me professionally, know that I have been a teacher who has used technology in my classroom for over 18 years. Even 15 years ago, my students were using laptops in the classroom to complete research and writing. During that time, I had opportunities to support teachers in their use of technology, and I began dreaming of a job that would allow me to work with teachers full-time doing professional development, instructional support, and technology integration. Over the years, I felt burnout and explored new professional options. More than once, I was offered a position working in curriculum or technology, but it never felt right or did not make sense financially.
Thirteen years ago I began teaching at my current school. I have worked with juniors and seniors from 13 different districts who are choosing to begin training in a career. My students were from a variety of experiences with a variety of abilities and learning needs. I can say I was an effective educator who met the needs of the students and gave them the power to be better readers and writers while feeling success. While doing this most important work, my district gave me access to all kinds of technology and resources. And I allowed my students to teach me about technology, and they allowed me to test many tools. Three years ago, I also began a supplemental position supporting teachers. My focus included working with all new teachers, keeping teachers up-to-date on educational changes, training staff on technology, and collaborating with administration to manage new educational mandates. I was expanding my training sessions to state conferences and other districts. I am very good at seeing the big picture and considering all the elements that need to come together for school success. In the last few years, my dreams to work full-time with curriculum and professional development became stronger.
And now, I open a new chapter. I am officially the Technology Integration Specialist and Curriculum Coordinator for Vantage Career Center. What does that mean? It means two changes. First, I will not have students in my classroom full-time. Yes, my heart is heavy. I mourn the loss of the daily interaction with students. Second, I get to do my dream job full-time. I get to help teachers be the best they can be for the students.
It has been an empowering summer for me professionally as I was able to choose my next step. I look forward to the important work I will do. And I am clearly reminded that God does not work in my time. I am now beginning the job I dreamed of 18 years ago. And the timing is perfect.