Monday, December 20, 2004

Be The Willow

The hurricanes and their interruption of the school year finally ended and things began to return to normal. Okay, as normal as a school year could be after starting three different times. Due to the storms, our original plan of getting teachers up and running wasn't going to be met in time for us to join ISTE at the new conference in October 2004.

The district had to make decisions, because we lost so many school days. One method of making up time was to only utilize one Wednesday each month as an Early Release Day. This destroyed our original time line of using our Professional Learning days for teachers to learn how to create and update their own classroom webpages.

Alot can be said for Turtles who follow the FISH Philosophy! The least of which is that we don't give up. We persevere and work with what we're given in order to succeed in our endeavors. Although we wouldn't be able to reach our goal by October, that didn't stop us. It just allowed us to "be the willow" and adjust to the winds that blew around us.

Our members had various roles and duties to perform in order for us to succeed with our webpage plan. It started with contacting district personnel about our plan and getting approval. To our surprise, we learned that the district had a program which would allow us to create individual webpages for faculty members. Communications flew and we got excited! We were ready to roll and even had a conference calls with a representative for the portal system we were going to utilize. We sat through an interactive training session with the representative. It was quite a sight to see the four team members huddled around our principal's desk, communicating through her speaker phone, and interacting with the representative online with some of our iBooks.

Weeks passed, we organized more, and were getting closer to the time when we would be able to invite teachers to begin their webpage journey. We set up a final conference call with the portal representative and even invited one of our district people to join us. We felt that this would allow us to have someone local who could help us troubleshoot if needed.

Unfortunately, that meeting didn't go as planned. We didn't end it with a date to start working with our teachers. It actually ended with us returning to GO and not being able to collect our $200. After all our weeks of planning, and conferencing with the portal's representative, it ended with us hearing the following words to a question we posed, "No, you won't be able to do that with the portal." This came as quite a shock to us and the district person that sat in with us. He was just as surprised as us, because it now seemed that this program would not allow the district to do as they had originally planned.

Thus, we "became the willow" yet again. The wind blew us enough that we were able to return our sights to our original plan for the webpages. Use whatever was available that we could find. Make it simple and easy for us to use.

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