Thursday, August 7, 2008

My goal is to make me be NOT needed

My husband may die a small death when he realizes this is my goal - but it is. I want my teachers to not NEED me anymore. My goal is to teach them how to find tools, assess their validity and make them work in their classroom. I could never (and don't want to) try and teach them every tool that exists - I want to give them the skills to find the tool for themselves.

I've been asked a good deal lately to define what it is I do. Not because they don't believe in what I do (so I'm not out of a job yet :) but because they are actually considering cloning me. Seriously, we are looking at another Instructional Technologist (do not send me resumes - you know how this works - it will probably never happen). It still amazes me how people in education (and we have a degree program in IT) have no idea what an Instructional Technologist does or is supposed to do.

However, in deconstructing my job, I have discovered that the most important thing I do really has nothing to do with technology per se. People feel comfortable coming to me and discussing what they are doing. My job is primarily to listen and bring the right tool sets to the table. Yes, I may do training and develop workshops, but when it comes to what makes me valuable - it is my ability to connect the right people together.

So maybe I'm not out of job after all :)


The Tablet PC In Education Blog said...

Great insight; I suspect they will try to clone you. What do you do about publish or perish?

Bethany Smith said...

I'm hoping the cloning process doesn't hurt too much :)

As for publish or perish I'm working the angle two ways. 1)Do research on technology in your content area. This way when my faculty try new things they can write about it. 2)Most of my faculty are teachers at heart, and want to prepare their teachers the best they can - si pull the heart strings :)

Oh and did I mention I hold their hand until they are ready to go out on their own? Sometimes teaching and helping teachers in universal, no matter what level you teach at.

Mike Montalto-Rook said...

Can we provide teachers with the resources and ability to find tools for themselves without holding their hands? i.e. Would training in logic or outside-of-the-box thinking provide them with the confidence to find tools for themselves? I am interested in any thoughts you may have. Great post.