At the beginning of my teaching career, I applied for a Kindergarten position, and from that interview, I was given the opportunity to teach high school technology. The reason I was hired to teach a technology class was that I had minimal experience with technology coming out of college and that “minimal” amount was more than anyone they had encountered in their interviews at the time in 1999. I was reluctant to take the job because I didn’t think I could do it, but my mentor teacher advised me to take any job since they were sparse at the time.
I walked into a class knowing a little bit more than some of my students, but not all. Every time we learned something new, I would learn a program a little bit before my students, and we would work through things together. I was honest with them that this was something I didn’t fully understand, so if they had some knowledge that I didn’t, please share with me and others, so we can all help each other out. The class was excellent, and we learned a lot together. Little did I know that this three-month job would shape much of my thinking for my career. I understood I did not know everything, even in the course I taught. I also appreciated that my students, all had some knowledge that I didn’t, and if I could tap into that, we would all grow.
I am often asked, “What is the next big technology in education?”
My answer is always the same. “I have no idea, and neither does anyone else.” We can all guess but something new will come and eventually go, and something better will replace it. The key is not to think about the technology but to learn to adapt to anything that comes our way, and not only survive but thrive. Honestly, if you knew what every day would look like, the job would become boring.
This is why “mindset” matters. Whatever comes our way, we will figure it out. Lucky I learned this in my first year of teaching, and because of that experience, I am still learning today.
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