Today’s contributor: Tracie DaSilva
This is Tracie’s 10th year at Mills Elementary. She enjoys camping, fishing, and crafts. She has read the first book of Harry Potter to every 5th grader at Mills for the past three years, and is looking forward to continuing that tradition this year.
At a recent meeting of like minds, we were tasked with choosing a charm or object that we could then relate to what we got out of that meeting. I choose the Octopus because I often feel as though I’m being pulled in eight different directions while at work. I’m probably pulled in many more than eight, because I truly am the ‘Jill’-of-all-trades here at my school. So in the spirit of Halloween, I choose to relate my job in terms of a spider – still eight legs…but more fitting for the season.
Spider Leg #1 – Campus Tech
I’m the fix-it-lady here at my school, and I pretty much do it all. When a printer runs out of ink, I’m the one that replaces the cartridge. If a projector bulb pops, I’m the one that climbs up on the desks to replace the lamp. Your computer won’t connect to wifi, I can fix that. Printer jams? I’m on it! Laptops won’t display on projectors, I’ll be right there! How do I (insert anything you can think of) in Word or Excel? Let me show you! The laminator is out of film again? Let me get the new rolls! Mac problems? Windows problems? iPad? iPhone? Chromebook? I’ve got them all taken care of. And there’s always someone next on the list looking for me.
Spider Leg #2 – Registrar
Yep! I’m that, too. New students, leaving students, schedule changes, report cards, registration, reports – all on me. At least I’m lucky enough this year to have an extra clerk in the office to help with the filing and parent communications! But, please don’t stress me out during the report card window – ack!
Spider Leg #3 – CIC
I actually wish I could spend a little more of my time on this ‘leg’ – I don’t have much time to explore new avenues of technology to share with my teachers. I’m very glad that we’ve got a community of CIC’s sharing their new ideas! But I am pretty great at getting things accomplished in BLEND. BLEND actually reminds me a little of the Korok Forest – it’s a pretty dark and confusing path to get there, but once you’re in everything is lovely and you can shake those maracas! BLEND is not an intuitive tool for our teachers to learn to use, but once you’ve got it, the possibilities and uses are almost endless. I’m always available to our teachers to help them create, design, and problem-solve in BLEND. I’m also constantly creating new content to present to our staff in our campus’ staff-only BLEND course.
Spider Leg #4 – Computer Lab
I run the computer lab at my school. Up until this year, I have run a 30-Mac Desktop lab that was open to every class to use every week. They’ve needed memory upgrades and a few have required surgery, but they always ALL worked, and worked well. I have been very proud of how well I’ve kept these old machines up and running optimally. At the end of last school year, I was almost granted a brand new 30-Mac refresh….but in the end, admin opted for the Chromebook exchange instead. Sometimes an ‘almost-change’ can lead to a change of a different sort. So this year, I’m re-thinking and re-designing my lab. My macs and all their wiring were already dismantled for the almost-change, so I decided to not put them back the way they were. With the help (push in a new direction) of my principal, the new space will be used for more collaborative technology uses. No more teacher-led instruction to the entire class, and much more student-led creative projects like graphic animation, video production, and small-group presentations.
Spider Leg #5 – Webmaster
You know those websites that are never really up-to-date? Those are run by people that have too many other things to do. LOL! That’s me, too. I’m the one with the responsibility of keeping our school’s official website up-to-date. It seems it never is! But, I’m trying.
Spider Leg #6 – Yearbook Editor
Luckily this isn’t a year-long task….just a hard one in the time frame near when it’s due to the publisher. It’s actually harder than you think it would be when you’ve got to run reports to see which students are not allowed to be in the yearbook, then to go through each page making sure they aren’t in any of the candids. I’ve also got to make sure every student is included that should be, make sure all their names are spelled correctly and that we’re using the name they go by and not the name in TEAMS.
Spider Leg #7 – Photographer/Videographer
I don’t really know how this one landed on me. I seem to be the one people ask to take the pictures of everything that goes on around here. I also have to record every presentation we do and then edit and burn them to a single flash drive for sale. Choir shows, plays, programs, and all! I guess I ended up responsible for this because I never said no. LOL!
Spider Leg #8 – Teacher
Ah, yes! The one that people often forget that I am. True, I don’t have my own classroom of students, but I am the teacher of teachers, the teacher of technology, the teacher of all things Harry Potter, and the teacher of ‘it’s OK to learn something new’.
Well, it’s time to spin another web…site – I’d better go update that one again. I hope everyone has a great Halloween – it’s fine by me if you want to send me your extra candy.