Sometimes God has to break you down to strip you of your pride and bring you to a place of humility. He has to cause upheaval in your life so that you come to Him for clarity and guidance. This happened to me recently and I am thankful for a perfect God with perfect plans for my life.
A few weeks ago, I experienced a breakdown. Professionally, I was put in my "place" so to speak. Not only by the actions and reactions of others, but by my own survey of my work. My perception was not reality and it hurt. I went home after work that evening and I took the time that I needed to grieve the good work that I thought I had done, and pray for guidance on where to rebuild. What to concentrate on. The word that kept coming to mind was FOCUS.
But what exactly did this mean? Wasn't I focused? No, I wasn't.
When you are the "bridge" between the Technology Department and the Curriculum & Instruction (iCAT) Department and essentially report to two directors, you aren't focused. You are reactive. You work to wear the hats of both departments without really building your own niche. Sure, I have built some programs and done some great things, but not many of them have sustained.
When I was in my closet, and I kept hearing the word FOCUS, my eyes would wander to this scripture on my prayer wall:
Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life. -Galatians 6:4-5 (MSG)
So over the last few weeks, I have been making a careful exploration of who I am and the work I have been given professionally. I printed my job description and I try to line my work up with what the goals of my job are. Before I take on a task, I ask myself "is this Instructional Technology?" If the answer is no, I am working to let it go. I also gauge my purpose for tackling a new assignment or project. Over the Christmas break, I listened to the audiobook, Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist and she made a statement that deeply resonated with my Type A, people-pleaser personality. She says that,
I am capable of doing so much. I am organized, I think through processes well, I am good with design and advertising. This doesn't mean that I should be responsible for projects that are outside of Instructional Technology just because I am capable of doing them. Many other people are capable as well, and if they aren't, we can all learn.
With all this being said, I feel focused on MY job for the first time in a long time. I am building programs again. I am working with my campus iCoaches (the one program that has sustained, but truly needs more support than what I have been giving it) to provide campus-based trainings for our teachers and I am training again myself. Personally, I have one spring iCoach training scheduled and submitted two sessions to the Revolutionizing Learning Conference in July. I am researching and sharing instructional technology resources again. I am working on a new coaching model for the 2019-2020 school year and I am DETERMINED to watch some lessons and offer my support. I am meeting with the Technology Department and the iCAT team regularly to ensure that both are working together to ensure the purposeful use of classroom technology in our district. I am focused on Instructional Technology.
When we lose focus of the end goal, our paths can get off track. As the scripture above teaches, I am taking responsibility for doing the creative best I can with the professional life that I have been given. Sometimes a breakdown is needed to have a breakthrough. So look for more content here, on the Twitters, and around Commerce ISD. I'm once again looking forward to impacting student learning with technology!
Instructional Technology Coordinator by title but really just a teacher looking for a classroom to make a difference! Not only sharing EdTech tools, but sharing my thoughts, feelings and the great things happening in public education.
The opinions expressed in the posts on the Getting Techy with Kilgore Blog are solely those of Heather Kilgore and do not reflect the opinions of her employers.