When I decided to leave the classroom around the beginning of 2014 for a TSA job in Fresno Unified, I was conflicted. I thought I’d do the job for a couple of years and go back to the classroom. The job provided a higher income, so my wife would be able to stay home with our baby. During that job of course I was offered the job at OpenEd and given life and professional circumstances, it seemed like the right time.
So for the past year or two as I’ve gone from classroom teacher and leader into roles more removed from the classroom, I’ve often struggled to define my place in the education landscape. To talk about “what I do” in the classroom doesn’t make sense because I’m not in a K-12 classroom anymore. I can talk about things I would do, but I feel self-conscious because obviously I’m not.
This past weekend at Lead 3.0 though my mind changed. I gave a presentation on formative assessment and of course included OpenEd – I strongly feel that opening more education resources will continue to play a role in the education arena, and OpenEd is doing innovative things to make that happen. (Example 1, Example 2, Example 3 ). I also included some amazing tools and stories from my time in Fresno Unified – particularly last year as TSA in Professional Learning with the iPD Grant.
It felt great to share stories and dialogue with practicing administrators about ways to incorporate technology and innovative thinking for formative assessment and professional development decisions. I realized I may not be in the classroom or at a school site, but my ideas are still relevant, in many ways I have more technical knowledge and a broader view, and in all honesty more energy to help make things happen. I am excited to continue as Lead Content Curator at OpenEd, serving the CMC as volunteer for Social Media , helping more students have access to quality educational resources.
Huge thanks to the organizers of Lead 3.0 and all of the education conferences out there – sharing on Twitter is great but so much more can happen in dynamic, innovative places such as this past week! Adam Ebrahim, I have often looked to you as someone who isn’t in the classroom but still able to present with authenticity outside of it. Also thanks to my bosses/team at OpenEd for allowing me to attend!