The prompt for Week 1 in the 8 Weeks of Summer Blog Challenge is to “describe relationships with those you taught this year.” As an Instructional Technology Coach, my teaching is done with teachers and it is imperative that I continually build relationships with the teachers in my buildings. This year was different. Different because I became the person that teachers needed to turn to just to be able to teach. New equipment to learn. New technology with which to teach. New environment to teach in. Too many “news” to count this year. I was able to begin building relationships with more of the teachers in my buildings who normally would not reach out for technology integration advice and my relationships with those I already worked with continued to grow.
Remote instruction became the way teachers were teaching. Whether they were teaching fully remote, remote and in-person concurrently, or just in-person, everything had to be digitally accessible for fear of something changing in an instant. And things changed multiple times this year. Many new relationships I built this year was because of the necessity of technology but as we transitioned back to in-person, I was able to maintain the repore I built with my teachers.
Teachers needed my assistance this year and I need them to want to learn… and truly, they wanted to and were willing. Teachers wanted to do whatever they needed to teach kids. I appreciate how hard my teachers worked this year. They were never given the chance to breathe. Breaks and holidays were spent recreating lessons digitally, grading digital assignments, catching up on emails, and staring at computer screens for hours on end. Planning periods were spent in meetings (sooooo many meetings), making seating charts for contact tracing, checking attendance, and completing paperwork, basically, anything BUT planning.
Teachers, no one will ever understand what you have done for yourself, your students, or your community this school year. Now that we have all been through the fire together, I think we have built relationships that will last. We have leaned on colleagues in ways we never thought we would need to, but we all needed help this year. I am hopeful and excited to return next school year, fully refreshed from summer and to put in the work. Enjoy your summer!