For many of us, the start of the school year in Maryland has been a challenging one. Days have already been missed due to natural disasters: earthquake and hurricane Irene. Then are all of those other challenges that face educators in our state: increased class sizes, limited budget funds, testing, and more. Finally let us add the technology challenges: getting new equipment ready, dealing with old equipment, learning new tools, and finding the time to plan on how to integrate the technology into a rigorous curriculum. This is enough to make anyone run out of their school and never look back, but here are some ideas to help you handle it all.
1. There are some things you can’t control. A simple concept that most educators don’t want to except. Once you know that you can’t change a current challenge, then you can use your energy to adapt.
2. Time frames need to be flexible. I know we all like everything to be running perfect by day one of school, but some times that just can’t happen. You might consider prioritizing needs to give yourself more time to get everything done.
3. Find helpful allies. Educators tend to want to do everything, but if help is available take it. Think about connecting with allies that can help you bring new equipment or get a site unblocked. Also think about the allies that will help with the smaller things like updating Flash on a set of computers.
4. Put it in perspective. At times we get so caught up in one problem, that we can’t see the big picture. Will students still have the opportunity to learn even if this problem is not solved? More than likely, the answer is going to be yes. It may not be the way we wanted students to learn that concept, but educators are fantastic with developing Plan B.
So relax, it will be okay! You are the best tool your students, parents, staff, and school could have.