Thursday, January 09, 2014

Leaving, Sans Jet Plane

So this is awkward.

After seventeen and a half years (not counting the three I was a student) at Antioch High School (give or take a couple minutes when I was ineligible to teach Theatre because I couldn't prove to California that I was a highly qualified English teacher), I'm leaving.

I've been offered a job as Educational Technology Coordinator with Butte County Office of Education. I'll be helping fourteen districts move forward in various ways with their technology integration. It's a Visiting Educator position, with a contract that ends in June of 2015, and they pay me through Antioch Unified, so I'm not really leaving on paper - it's just a Leave of Absence. But I am leaving.

I've been looking to get out of the classroom for a couple years now for multiple reasons:
  • We're at this crazy time in education where existing teachers need help learning to communicate differently than they have been for years because of the amazing advances in technology. I happen to have skills in that area.
  • I can help more students indirectly if I teach teachers.
  • Our students at AHS now seem to have more social/emotional needs than curricular needs and I no longer have the energy to fill that role with the level of quality that I feel it requires. (Read as: I'm getting old.)
There are all sorts of good times/bad times things that I could fill this post with, from how I got to work side by side with the master of creating a family atmosphere, to the time I took six students to perform at the Fringe Festival in Scotland, to how I was the one who closed down our school's Theatre program, but I thought I'd share with you the short list of things I emailed my famulty (the name we use when we talk about our staff) today in my brief "goodbye" email. 
  • Use the Help link. I do all the time.
  • Join and use Twitter. It's the best professional development you'll ever get. Here's why and how.
  • No tech is the magic bullet. YOU are the magic bullet and always have been.
  • Use tech that allows you to collaborate: cloud services, shared calendars, etc. We don't need to do any of this by ourselves anymore.
  • Publish. Art, writing, curriculum, whatever... post it somewhere. Others will learn from you and you'll grow as a communicator. I promise.
  • Use the Help link. It's so important, I thought I'd remind you.
That's it. That's all. 

I'm going to miss the school & my famulty, and I thought about posting all of the things I won't miss, but why complain? Instead, I'll just say, "So long for now, AHS."

So long for now, AHS.