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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Rewarding Risk-Takers

Google Drive Badge
Here's your obvious statement of the day, courtesy of me:

Teaching isn't easy.

Profound, right? Not really. Few members of the general public, and even fewer members of the teacher ranks, would disagree with this statement. From day one of the school year to day one of the Summer, teachers are asked to juggle lesson plans, meetings in their various forms, student discipline, student rewards, communication with parents all over the involvement spectrum, and relationships with colleagues. Not only that, but they're also expected to do so with much of their daily schedule spoken for by the almighty bell schedule. Negotiable time is in short supply and with it, opportunities for self-directed learning and professional growth.

Again, this is old news to the vast majority of the population.

Why do I bring this up? Because somehow, incredible educators all over the place are finding ways to grow professionally and improve their art. That is, the art of taking students from point A to point B as learners and citizens. Not only that, but they're doing so really well by embracing new and exciting ways to teach.

It can be exhausting, however, to grind all year long turning over every possible stone in the process of getting better for the sake of kids. One thing that tends to help is simply being recognized for the work being done behind the scenes to reach students.

Enter the Denton ISD Instructional Technology Badge Site. It's not a new car or anything, but the badges that can be earned certainly represent ways to recognize the risks that teachers take when they step out of their comfort zone to try out new instructional technology tools and teaching techniques. 

Maybe you're a middle school teacher exploring assessment with technology. Or, you could be an elementary teacher opening the floodgates of real-time collaboration through Google Drive. Even a high school teacher dipping their toes into the wild waters of coding as part of the curriculum can earn a badge. By the way, the coding badge is pretty awesome...

On top of all that, teachers can request training opportunities for any of the badges in case one or all of them are unfamiliar.

Why not learn something new? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Learn more about the badge site

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