My Own 20% Time

I’m about to finish my fourth full year in the classroom, and I love thinking back to where I started. People say all the time how much teaching and learning has changed over their careers, and I can easily say the same, even though I haven’t been in the classroom for a long time. It’s been a whirlwind, but I’ve loved it. 

I’ve loved being on the front lines of how technology and collaboration are changing education. Living in the Bay Area, I’m surrounded by new ideas becoming new realities, as ed tech start-ups create products for me to use. And I see the change in my students. They’re naturally working together, asking for feedback, and creating amazing things for authentic audiences. 

The ed tech community has been integral in supporting me in this process. Twitter handles have turned into friends through deep and honest conversations and a lot of great laughs. I’ve loved presenting at and attending conferences to experience that community throughout the year. 

That community helped me to begin consulting as I share the experiences my students and I have in our classroom. I’ve loved working with other teachers as they learn new technology tools and as we explore the best ways to use these to give students deep learning experience. 

And I can’t wait to learn more. That’s why next year I’m decreasing my teaching load to 80%. I’m going to have my own 20% time! Every Friday I’m going to be learning with or for other teachers. I’m taking the time to pour myself into learning about new tech tools. I’m taking the time to learn how these tools deepen learning. I’m taking the time to lead training sessions at other schools. 

And just as beautiful…. I get to spend 80% of the time fully in my classroom. I get to use the tools I learn with my students. I get to be fully present with my students as I seek to mentor them. I get to continue the other kind of teaching that I love while my students and I explore literature and math and why they make a difference in our lives. 

Thank you to all of you who have so wonderfully supported me on my journey thus far. It’s been so much fun learning and exploring and discussing with so many amazing people. I can’t wait to continue the journey with you. 

Finally, if your school or any school you know needs some trainings on integrating technology into the classroom from a teacher who has used it in her classroom that week, send them my way. I’d love to work with more teachers, schools, and districts as we seek to create real and deep learning experiences for students.