Abstract: Currently, I am entering my fourteenth year as a secondary English teacher. I work at South Anchorage High School and teach 9th grade regular and honors English, Advanced Placement Language and Composition, Teen Issues in Literature, and Digital Composition.
This work was completed for the University of Alaska, Southeast, ED 698, Summer 2011.
Going into my fourteenth year as a secondary English/Language Arts teacher, I have evolved from a technology literate teacher to a leader who immerses herself in the tools that help her to be a better teacher. Conferences, trainings, and readings have shaped what I think I am capable of and spark new ideas for how I can better facilitate classroom learning and teacher trainings. From formal trainings like ASTE and informal readings like Tech & Learning I have gained the knowledge I need to help me continue to grow as an educator and a learner. Most importantly, my students learn by example and through lessons how to effectively and maturely use technology to communicate ideas and show depth of knowledge.
I began attending ASTE in 2000, during my third year of teaching. ASTE has always provided inspiration and helped to renew my interest in ways technology can be used in the classroom. Though I started attending before Web 2.0 was even a catch-phrase, I have presented several times now on collaborative online tools. Successful professional development models must also be shown to have a significant impact on student achievement (Guskey, 2003), and professional development of this type is important because educators need professional tools and models to help them achieve, and help their students succeed.
My participation in the Technology Teacher Leader grant was challenging and rewarding. This model of professional development, training trainers, “…extremely effective for reaching large audiences,” (Poplin, 2003) is often used in technology training because master teachers are selected and then take their knowledge back to their own schools to teach colleagues. I delved more into backward design, identifying needs and filling them with technology, budgeting and purchasing, and creating professional development opportunities.
My knowledge of backward design and my experience with reflective practice from the National Board Certification process have helped me create better opportunities and facilitate more effectively in the classroom. “As much as we value time to reflect on our practice…the demands of our work make those moments difficult to find,” (Sipe, 2003). I’ve become known as a technology guru among students not because I use it all the time, but because I think about how to use it all the time. I have discussions with students about effective communication meaning different products for different situations and outcomes. We look at quality examples and talk about how technology should be used to teach and show course content, not be used as an add-on.
As I chose artifacts for this portfolio I looked back over my work from the last several years, not just from this masters program. I continually challenge myself by picking up new skills from local tech trainings, research trends in the field that I think my students need to know and be able to use, and always enjoy what I do. When teaching stops being fun then I stop being a good teacher; technology helps keep teaching fun for me because there is always something new to discover.
Guskey, T. (2003). What makes professional development effective? Phi Delta Kappan, 84(10), 748-750. Retrieved November 14, 2010, from ProQuest Education Journals. (Document ID: 350168051).
Poplin, C. (2003, June). Models of professional development. T.H.E. Journal, 30(11), 38-
40. Retrieved November 14, 2010, from ProQuest Education Journals. (Document ID:
Sipe, R. (2003). It’s about passion . . . and staying professionally alive. English Journal, 92(6), 20. Retrieved November 14, 2010, from ProQuest Education Journals. (Document ID: 375046801).