Today’s Contributor: Toni Bayerl
I spent the past ten years at Patton Elementary where I taught fourth grade students and this year I made the move to Langford Elementary! I wear many hats at this campus including; Writing Coach, Math Specialist, and I support the campus with their technology needs. I love learning and doing research! I am creative and in my non-school hours I love to decorate, exercise and work on projects.
Something all classroom teachers strive to be is innovative. In this technology rich world, we are constantly trying to find new ways to teach concepts and keep our kids engaged and up with the current trends. BUT, time is always a factor in education. I know teachers want to learn and incorporate new things, but finding the time to learn is always the struggle. I have found many trainings that seem interesting, but they always seem to occur on Saturdays or after school hours. At the time, I click yes to attend but when it comes down to it, I’m tired or something unexpected came up in my day. So I started wondering, “How can we maximize our learning throughout our work hours?”
Patton was a large campus with a ton of staff! As you can imagine, with lots of people there was a ton of knowledge to be passed around, but little time to meet and discuss this with other grade levels. I remember walking past bulletin boards in the hallway and thinking to myself, “What a great idea!” or “I wonder how they did this?” The truth is, at every campus there is tons of knowledge. Each teacher has their own niches that they study and become good at; so the question arises, what can we do to learn from one another?
This year I created a ‘Pineapple Chart’ that is displayed in our lounge. I got the idea from an article that referenced pineapples as being the welcoming symbol for people to visit their homes. So in school, this is a symbol for others to come see what we are doing in our classrooms. Each month, a new board is released. Teachers can sign up all month long with as many technology lessons as they will be doing with their students. Whenever they have time, they stop by the chart and put their name, technology being used, and a time. Others who work here see this and have the opportunity to go watch that teacher use that technology in their classroom. Lessons can last from 5-15 minutes, depending on the skill. Teachers can also take notes as they watch the person conducting the lesson and use them as a future resource.
Our campus has been actively using this for two months now and everyone is learning about new technology tools. This has really helped collaboration within our campus community and it has been a great way to share ideas during the school day. We have figured out how to maximize our time to learn! Langford loves to learn from each other! 💚