Today was the first day of Lunch Crunch. I was at Kennedy Elementary and blocked out two hours to "be available" to staff during their lunch hour (ha- hour?!). I chose a table that was near the back, but very visible in the room. As I mentioned in a previous post, I want to be available without being obtrusive.
It was very interesting to watch and listen. I learned a little about individual personalities and the dynamics of the grade level groups. Nothing bad at all, just interesting.
After a while, and a comment from the principal, a few folks joined me. We talked about California, Minnesota, football, and technology. Simple requests for assistance were common. Apprehension about the LearnPad rollout was quelled. It was an easy way to ease into the established routines and lives of our outstanding educators.
So what did I learn?
Teachers are teachers. Here, there, and everywhere (a favorite Beatles tune I might add). The conversations, humor, and even the quiet sitting spells were all so familiar to me that for a moment, if I closed my eyes, I might have been back at Robert Semple, Joe Henderson, St. Katharine, or Laura MacArthur Elementary. These teachers are good folks - doing the very best with what they have to offer and with what they have been given. And it is good. Very good.
At the same time, the teacher lunch hour (lol - I can't help but chuckle at that) looks and sounds different to each individual. Some teachers need the solace of their classroom to decompress and prepare for an afternoon of continued academic rigor. Others need time to socialize and nosh with one another. I totally understand that.
As a classroom teacher, I preferred the quiet classroom to the teacher lounge. I needed that social break during the mid-point in my day. Now, as an Integration Specialist (IS), I look forward to lunch so that I can chat with folks and learn about them. It's interesting how things change depending on who you are, where you are, and what you do.
So what's the point?
Lunch Crunch isn't a perfect answer to informal meeting with teachers, but it is a good option. I know I will not meet with everyone at lunch time over the course of the year. I will, however, meet with many. From there, I will come to you (when the time is right) to discuss what I can do to help integrate meaningful technology in your classroom.
Everyone needs to eat to fuel their body. Every student needs to succeed to fuel our community. Every teacher is responsible to deliver the greatest opportunities for student learning and success. Let technology help you out, and I'll be there to guide and support your journey. Come fuel up with me.
Andrew G. Leiser