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Saturday, 6 October 2012

GTA 6 Month Reflection

It has been 6 months since I had the pleasure of attending the Google Teacher Academy in London. I learned a great many new things at the Academy, many of which I have been able to apply in my teaching and also pass on to teachers at my school and those in my community. It is a great feeling to be a part of this process, sharing ideas with others and watching them get excited about them. It is often the  little things that make an impact. People find them easier to take on and are usually keen in identifying those skills, or tools that they can make best use of.

As part of the  GCT process I had to draw up an action plan. I could have chosen to create a teaching website but I already had one, or the training that I do at school, but again that would have been cheeky of me as teaching and supporting teachers is part of my job. We were asked to choose something that would make a difference, change the world so to speak. I had received a proposal from an NGO in Canada to help establish a learning lab for underprivileged students living in the countryside, in El Salvador. That is what I chose to build my action pan around.

Things don't always turn out quite as expected. We had big dreams for the lab and still do, however our initial ideas have been put on hold.  It has been difficult find a safe location for the lab, that also provides easy access for the students. Instead we have focussed our energy on working with the teachers who will be using the lab once it comes to be.

We are programmed to begin our first Saturday session this coming Friday, and will meet once a month for training sessions, until Christmas. After that our meetings will take place once every 3 months. I have set up a progression of topics that we are going to focus on and produced a schedule for them. We will begin with communication and collaboration and culminate in working on setting up an online presence for the teachers to use with their students and community.

Here is the progression for the project:

Change does not come easily. It requires patience and plenty of hard work. Forgive the cliche, but it is often true that even the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray. In this case I have taken a detour and am following a detour I had planned to travel slightly later on in the process. My action plan will take at least a year to bring full circle and their is plenty to be done during that time. 

What makes it worth the effort is the enthusiasm of the individuals involved, those helping to make the change happen, either as teachers or supporters and those who through this process will be the ones to bring about a multitude of change, as they take their learning back and implement their ideas in their own schools and classrooms. 

I will be reflecting on this journey as we progress through it during this year, and am excited to be able to share our milestones with anyone who is interested in reading about them.