In Spain one rarely hears “Good-bye”. They prefer to bid everyone a casual “See you later”, even if you’re in a big city full of strangers. It’s one of my favorite things about their warm, welcoming culture.
After seven years, today is my last day at Canastota High School, at least for this school year. They’ve been kind enough to grant me a leave of absence to continue working on the video game project in Europe. So now is my chance to say “Hasta luego” but certainly not “Adios”.
I am leaving the classroom at quite possibly the most exciting time. In just the first two weeks of school I have seen teachers setting up blogs where students discuss controversial health topics, using cell phones as remote response systems, and Web 2.0 tools such as xtranormal.com and Wordle to engage the modern learner (and motivate the future writer). I am so proud to say that I am a member of such a forward-thinking faculty.
Sometimes teacher technology is just another to-do on an ever-growing list for educators - this, while available time, resources, and support dwindle. My school is full of SMART Boards, but even smarter people. My colleagues are constantly pushing themselves to catch up with our ever-savvy consumers. What many other professions may not appreciate is that actually just getting through the day is no small feat. Amidst the monumental logistics of managing thousands of kids through subjects, meals, and sports, they are closing the gap on decades of innovation at an impressive rate.
This level of progress is not possible without colleagues sharing their successes and learning from their failures. I have learned more as a member of the public education system than I ever thought possible before I entered it. One forty minute period is a mini-orchestra of management, motivation, planning, and performance.
As I leave the bells and busses behind my hope is to bring an immersive video game platform to education. It’s a giant leap from chalkboards and textbooks but at least I know there is one school that’s already ahead of the game. Hasta luego, Canastota.
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