Jumping in the Deep End

Really, what was I thinking?  Anyway, tossed my application for Google Teachers Academy in Seattle this July into the aether last night...or was that this morning?  Being down south at my mother's for a whole week instead of just a few days, meant I had to do some fast tap dancing to come up with a video. Of course, my end of the year pictures were still in my camera which was on my desk at the house. Writing the four major questions took brain power that is already zapped by the summer sun.

Attempting write a paragraph in 150 words max is crazy hard.  I tend to "rattle" when I write so there was lots of editing going on. Answering my favorite moment in teaching ranged from little things like helping a student complete his scholarship application online which meant helping him get his first email account to teaching a regional student council workshop to stuco officers on how to use social marketing for their organizations.  I wrote this for my favorite of the year:

Teaching Advanced Composition students is bittersweet knowing the days are my last with seniors.  Mrs. Clem required her students to collaborate on partner essays using Google Docs.  During Google Docs instruction, I sensed unrest.  They weren’t a happy crew with a new application added to their work load.  Mrs. Clem stuck to her original requirements for partners to share documents between themselves and her.  Two days later, Mrs. Clem called to say she was “viewing” her students working in the lab.  When I checked in, the students were laughing because Mrs. Clem was “watching” them work on their projects and “chatting” about their writings from her classroom.  Soccer star guy stood up and said, “Mrs. Dougherty, Google Docs has been the best thing I have learned in high school! It has changed the way to do group projects forever! Thank you!” It was a good day in the library.

What I didn't have room to share was that Mrs. Clem was one of my teachers in the Google Docs Study this year.  She admits she is a newbie techie but is willing to learn.  She jumped into Google Docs as a tool for her seniors to write their essays.  Using online document writing gave her the opportunity to compare each individual student's work in their portfolio of writings.  Sandy has always had an open door for her students which even means handing out her phone number in case a student had questions at home.  The laughter from that moment in the library had been building since the night before.  She checked in on her "kids" virtually in Google Docs.  Chatted and commented on their writings as the partners worked on their drafts.  Even during those hours, she sent the students the idea to write their parts in a different color of ink while reserving the color purple for her comments. The students were laughing because writing was now fun while empowering them to succeed.  It was a good day!