In technology education there are so many roads and avenues to choose. I would like to say in the last decade I haven’t been afraid to take different turns or go down roads less traveled.
This past year, I have been traveling around the southeastern United States making my way as an Education Consultant for The W.H. Platts Company. It has been an amazing experience. I stepped out of the comfort zone of public education to be a part of a new movement for SMART Resellers. The Education Consultant position was created to help the resellers for SMART develop a better relationship with education customers. To have someone from education locally to help work with districts on professional development as they move to interactive whiteboard technology in the classroom. I was ready to do this… I couldn’t wait to see what would happen. It was that road unknown for me. It wasn’t paved… it was bumpy along the way but it brought me to today.
Some may say it brought be back to a familiar place but I would have to slightly disagree. The road this led me to was back to public education. Next week, I will be joining the rest of the educators I know as we begin to head back to school. I have accepted a job at Ridge View High School in Columbia, SC as the Integration Technology Specialist. Yes, this is a familiar place to me. I taught social studies at Ridge View 10 years ago. It was the job that gave life to my journey down the technology education highway. Now, I have returned to be a support for teachers as they take their own journey with technology education. I feel refreshed… and alive … to be returning to public education.
For the longest time, I thought I need to keep moving forward and up to make the most impact. I went from the classroom to a district position to the consultant world. All the while thinking, the larger my audience the larger the impact. What I learned is … for me to make an impact on education I have to be where the students are… and that is in one school making a difference everyday.
Was my time as an Education Consultant wasted? Absolutely, NOT. Over the last year I have learned a lot about myself.
1. I need to be around people when I work. (I worked out of my house and that got boring)
2. The longer I was a consultant the less I had to say about technology in education. I felt disconnected from the pulse of education.
3. I learned how important good luggage is… I wore out every piece of luggage I own this year.
4. 35K miles on a car in one year isn’t good for your car’s value or wear and tear! 🙂
And if I had not traveled down this road I would not be standing here today proud to say, “I am in public education. I am a dreamer and I am here to make a difference.”
Photo by: Sharham Sharif http://www.flickr.com/photos/sharif/3389991715/