Urgent vs Important – Reflections on the return to school

This year I have started in my new position as ‘Elementary Innovation, Technology and Integration Specialist’. While I’ve worked at schools that have had similar roles to this, it is the first time that TMS has created such a position. I’m extremely excited about this position and I feel like the possibilities of what my job could entail are endless.

My role this year is to help teachers integrate technology into the existing Montessori curriculum. While I’ve got a million ideas, I’m also very mindful of all of the workload that’s currently on teachers plates.  So far, I’ve tried offering optional extensions, or follow-up activity replacements, in order to not add any more work for the teachers. So far it seems to be going well!

During our reflection, one thing that has stuck with me that is both urgent and important, is how can I best support students in my new role that are unable to access the current curriculum either due to language or ability? While we do have a Learning Strategies team at our school (and they are amazing!), their plates are also very full and unfortunately they are unable to be everywhere at once.

This year I want to show teachers how technology can support and enhance their lessons, without them feeling like I’m giving them work. I also want to find tools to help students access a curriculum that they currently can’t (with the hope that soon our curriculum can adapt and meet students at their level).

6 thoughts on “Urgent vs Important – Reflections on the return to school

  1. @smartini Awesome job getting your first post up and looking at what is urgent vs important in your classroom. As the new Technology and Integration Specialist at TMS your classroom is every classroom and your role as coach/resource makes you have to think carefully about where and how you spend your time. I have found this resource helpful when thinking about how to approach your work – https://educationaltechnology.net/technological-pedagogical-content-knowledge-tpack-framework/

  2. @smartini – That is such an important balance to consider – what’s important and how do you engage and help without seeming like you are ‘adding’ to peoples’ workload (teachers or students). But I think being there and showing support like you are doing will build those relationships so that can happen. We all hopefully want to learn and one thing that has worked well (at times) for us are Lunch n Learns where we just exchange ideas around different topics. It works particularly well if students can join in to show how they are using different strategies – they teach the teachers! Looking forward to seeing how this will progress!

    1. Lunch n Learns are a great idea! In the past I’ve done this, and had students share their work. It was always a huge success! With our new timetables this year, not all teachers have the same lunch anymore and it’s been reduced from an hour to 45 minutes. BUT I think it could still be hugely beneficial. So maybe I need to suggest it again … and maybe even have a few snacks for teachers to enjoy! Nothing motivates teachers like food!

  3. Awesome first blog post @smartini! I can say with certainty that you are already doing an amazing role in your new position and the students and teachers are lucky to have you!
    You are considerate of teachers workload and always strive to make learning fun, relevant and meaningful for students. @jeffadams I love the idea of having lunch and learns with STUDENTS where they highlight tools and strategies they use to both teachers and fellow students. 🙂

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