I know when you first read the title of this post, you thought I was going to be referencing an alien movie starring Will Smith. :) But, no... MIB is the model I am using this year to reach my teachers. It's a big year of change for our district...CSCOPE, Google Apps for Ed, new campuses, new administrators, new teams... It's proving to be a tough year, but one filled with opportunity. So, to keep my teachers happy (and on my side!), MIB is my method. :)
I think the biggest way for teachers to see the impact technology can have on their classroom is to see it in action. So, a large part of my job is to model, model, model!!! I am trying to do this in two ways this year. First, I created a Google form titled "Come See My Techno Treat." This form can do two things for me...it can get me into the classroom to see what the teacher is already doing and how I can help him/her expand and it can also get the teachers to ASK ME FOR HELP! :) I mean, it is my job after all! The second way I am trying to model is with formal, scheduled sessions in the lab. I am doing two sessions this month using Google Search Stories. I booked the lab, created a Google Form and sent it to teachers so they could sign up for a period to bring their kids and let me teach a lesson. I always ask what they're studying in class so I can keep the lesson relevant. I know they don't have time for fluff!
If my teachers don't trust me and don't feel inspired by me, then I might as well stay at home. And "inspire" works both ways - they keep ME inspired, too. Last week a teacher told me she was tired of her students being glad to leave her classroom. I was saddened that she felt this way, but SO INSPIRED to help her make a big change this year. Our first step?? Bring me in to model a lesson with the Chromebooks! She said, "If you'll come do my first class, I'll know what to do with the others." WOW! She gets it! All year, I really hope to keep my teachers inspired with new web 2.0 tools, Google Apps, Chrome Apps, project based learning activities and any teaching methods that will make their job easier and their classroom a place of collaboration and creativity.
When all else fails, make snickerdoodles! :) If you feed them, they will come! I offer several different training sessions for my campuses including Lunch and Learn, "Wired Wednesday" and "CoffeeBreak with Technology." No matter what the session is or where/when it's held, I try to always have some sort of sweet treat. Trust me, it works! The other way we encourage (ok, bribe!) our teachers to attend training is to offer "Tech Bucks." These are credits our teachers earn when they attend training that can be used to purchase technology tools for their classrooms. We offer courses, award credit, and let teachers "shop" using Eduphoria. This program has been VERY effective and this is our third year of implementation.
I would love to hear what things you are doing this year to keep your teachers on board and moving forward. What programs do you and your district have in place that are effective?