3 Things I'm Looking Forward to in 2016

@MrBrettClark 1 Comments

Happy Anniversary! 

As I sat down last night to write this post, I was thinking back over the past 3 years of my life. When I wake in the morning, and by the time this post goes live, it will be my anniversary of the my first day as the Director of Technology for Greater Clark County Schools. It's been an amazing 3 years, full of ups, downs, triumphs, and learning experiences.

Here are just a few things I've been blessed to be a part of:

  • I work under leadership that makes me feel empowered to pursue all possibilities.
  • We rolled out 8,000 Chromebooks to grades 3-12
  • Added 3 amazing eLearning Coaches to the district to help drive the conversation of learning environments. Because if we don't have those conversations, bullet point number 1 is pointless.
  • I believe we've had 18+ states and Canada represented at our conferences.
  • I've watched as those conferences went from being almost all outside presenters to now the high majority of sessions are lead by our own teachers, admins, and students.
  • More importantly, I've been in classrooms and watched teachers and students get engrossed in learning. I've seen them take virtual field trips, discover their passions, and learn how to maneuver in more connected and open environment. It hasn't been easy, and it hasn't always been pretty, but our learners have been up for the task.
  • Most importantly, my own kids love to go to school every day.

3 Things I'm Looking Forward to in 2016

1:1 Refresh

It's hard to believe that I've worked here for 3 years already. It's even harder to believe that we are already going to be refreshing our 8,000 devices. We've been evaluating the impact of the 1:1 on our learning environment, looking at devices, planning professional learning opportunities, and learning from our mistakes. 

It's nice to look back over all that you've accomplished, learn from your shortcomings, and plan for the future. I look forward to sharing with you what we learn from our reflection process, and where we want to go from here. 

Learning Spaces

I love looking at how classrooms are designed and how the design of the learning space sets the tone for the classroom. This past summer I was able to visit the Affton School District, where I got to see their collaboration room. Check out the Room 15 website and get inspired! 

I worked with our Building Trades teacher at Jeffersonville High School and his students helped me build 8 mobile T-Walls to send out to our secondary schools. They are going out to schools very soon and I will be blogging more about this as well. 

The Unknown

It seems like every year I go into the year thinking I know how things are going to turn out. Then, every year I find out that for all of my planning and preparation, life happens, and things rarely go as planned. So, in 2016, I'm looking forward to the unknown. Who knows what I'll learn this year, or what experiences I'll have. I can't wait to have my mind blown by a project that a student and teacher complete. It's going to be exciting when a school comes up with something that is seemingly impossible and then pulls it off! My own wife and kids are going to continue to amaze me every week.  I'm sure I'll even shock myself at what I'll accomplish in 2016. 

So here we are...already a week into 2016...already 3 years into a job that 5 years ago I never would have even dreamed about. Here's to 2016, may it wreck all of our plans, and exceed all of our expectations. 

I'd love to hear from you and what you are looking forward to in 2016!

1 comment:

  1. Hey Pal,

    This sentence resonated with me: "Most importantly, my own kids love to go to school every day."

    I think it is a great indicator of the kind of district that you have. It's sort of like the canary in the coal mine: When your own kids start to chirp about how frustrating school is, you know there's an issue that needs to be addressed.

    That's something schools and teachers have been really bad at. We've all too often ignored that chirping, chalking it up to kids who like to complain instead of taking their concerns seriously and seeing them as early evidence of an issue we should take seriously.

    My own daughter is in first grade right now and she complains about school all the time. She really doesn't like it. And that breaks my heart because I know that if I'm working in a system that doesn't resonate for my kid, I'm also working in a system that doesn't resonate for other people's kids either -- and yet my system is so damn big that figuring out how to drive change is darn near impossible for a guy like me.

    So there's your challenge: You work in a district that is small enough that change really is possible. You also work in a position where you have a ton of influence over what that change can look like. Don't screw it up!


    BTW: I'm thinking about Ruth right now and hoping that this year is one of physical renewal for her! This time last year, things were wonky times ten.