I was recently presented with the following prompt to foster some critical thinking on my part:
Reflect on why you decided to become a TIS:
Think about why you decided to become a TIS. Do you have a job that requires you to have the credential? Are you completing the program for your own personal benefit? What do you see as the major stumbling block teachers have when it comes to integrating technology into their curriculum? Now that you have identified the problem, where do you fit in the solution?
I’ve always been one to keep up with the latest technology and how to best use it in education. The problem I had was that I did not have the resources available to successfully implement the great ideas I was finding. This led me to investigate becoming a TIS. I missed the window to apply for last year’s cohort because I felt that it would be too hard to complete while moving into a new position teaching 6th graders (I had been teaching high school for the previous four years). Then the school I was moving to posted a position for a Title I TIS and I jumped at the chance to apply. After the interviews were completed, my principal offered me the position and away I went in to the world of being a TIS. I spent the first year working in the position under a temporary authorization as it was too late to join a cohort but joined for this coming year to work to obtain my credential.
In my first year in the position, I have discovered that there are really three groups of teachers out there when it comes to technology integration. The first group are those that want to integrate technology because they hope that it will better aid their students with achieving the goals they have set for them. These teachers will ask questions and look for suggestions. They will try new things just to see if they are going to work. They are the group of teachers that every TIS would want to work with. The second group of teachers are those who have done things a certain way for a long time and see no need to change them, because it works for them. These teachers run classrooms that are very teacher-centered and do not provide the students with choices or opportunities to do something different. These are the teachers that will never ask questions and will never seek assistance. These are the teachers that can be a nightmare for a TIS. They are a challenge that some will avoid, but I enjoy trying to take on. The last group of teachers are those that really do not care either way. They will try something new or different to integrate technology into what they are doing, but do not put in the time to truly prepare for it. They will ask for suggestions but not seek assistance. They will talk about what they are trying, but never share their results. They seem to want to do something for the students that helps them to achieve differently, but never seem to follow through with it to a finality. These teachers are the ones that make it hard for a TIS to really help, but they are not a lost cause and many of them can be converted into members of the first group.