Finding jobs - Trailblazer or Path Follower?

This is something that I have been thinking about for the past few days - I am passionately invested in learning about how to optimize learning in the classroom. I believe that we can completely change and improve the way that students learn by making some major changes in education - just one of those changes is using some of the new web 2.0 tools that we are all familiar with.

So, as I was searching the internet last weekend, I came across a school that has a job opening in the same grade that I currently teach. I would be focusing on teaching two subjects (writing and math) to two small sections of kids. And here's what made me say wow - all of these students are given laptops to use during the school day. What an opportunity, I thought. I have to apply.

But there was that part of me that thought that leaving my current district would be the wrong thing to do. Sure we have basically no technology use at all. I tried to set up a blog and people were leery. And our budget was voted down for the second year in a row, so I don't see any major expenditures on computers any time soon. And we have very few professional conversations of any type happening.

But, I thought, couldn't I be the one to bring all these great things to my district? Couldn't I be the one to blaze the trail and change everyone's minds. I could be the technology hero! Or, at least couldn't I shut my door like teachers do and follow my own passions while everyone else does their thing?

I guess there is a certain appeal to being the one to start things, to fight for what you believe in. But the truth is I doubt my abilities to do all this. Could I really make this change? Wouldn't it be easier and more effective to go to the new school, work with the kids with laptops and then do the most amazing things that I've every dreamed ...

I don't know.

Views: 43

Comment by Matt Kish on April 24, 2007 at 7:51pm
Thanks for the comment.
Comment by Jeremiah Patterson on April 24, 2007 at 9:38pm
What a grand experiment -- in either direction. I've worked in affluent communities and in those that have truly been left behind. Working in a place where one can make a difference is worth all of the strain that comes with it. Resources are nothing, really. In fact, one could argue that it is a lack of resources which generates real innovation.
Comment by techmentor on April 25, 2007 at 5:50am
I applaud your desire to grow professionally and look at new opportunities. Someone has to be the "trailblazer" in your district. Couldn't that be you? If you like your school, students, teachers, parents and administration, that can mean alot more than laptops for every student. I work in a district where all students have laptops from grade 7 on....the issues here can be just as daunting as no technology.

Keep up the good work and others will come to see your vision. If there is one thing I have learned in education...fundamental changes take forever, but the good ones are worth the wait.


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