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Career Story: Technology Specialist Covering Multiple Elementary Schools

Technology Specialist Covering Multiple Elementary Schools

Job Title: Technology Specialist

Type of Company: I work for a school district in a suburb of Boston.

Education: BA in Elementary Education, Boston College, MEd Instructional Technology-Framingham State College

Previous Experience: Grade 2 and 3 teacher for nine years, got my masters while I worked, transferred within my school district to this job

Job Tasks: I split my time between four buildings - three different schools and an administrative building. Four days a week I spend in the schools. My main focus is supposed to be meeting with teachers and staff to help them learn how to use technology and integrate it into their daily teaching and normal curriculum. I am also supposed to model lessons for teachers and help them plan or visualize projects that incorporate technology.

Part of my job is to be the first line of tech support when people are having issues with their computers or with the network. This ends up being a very large part of my day at each school, though. I am often running from room to room, figuring out why people are not online, why their computers are not working correctly, and/or why things are printing etc. I'm also spending a huge chunk of time on email each day solving these types of problems at the schools I am NOT at that day.

One day a week I'm in my office and/or teaching workshops to staff. We have weekly department meetings and hear about updates with the network, discuss problems we have encountered, share project ideas, and plan or carry out professional development activities. This is also a catch-up day! Much of this day I spend talking with network guys or tech assist people to figure out things I might not have been able to do myself during the week.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is the flexibility and the opportunity to work with many different people. It's fun to see people get excited when they learn something new, and I still get to work with students and do projects that are meaningful but exciting.

The worst part is that people chase me down the halls telling me everything is broken, and often people are only contacting me or saying hello if they need something fixed. It's frustrating that I spend so much time fixing/troubleshooting and not nearly enough teaching, planning and modeling in the classroom.

Job Tips:
1. Be organized - develop folders in your email and on your desktop to deal with the influx of requests.

2. Know the teachers' curriculum - if you approach them and suggest an activity that fits in with what they are already doing, they are more open to planning with you.

3. Start to learn how to troubleshoot - it's a much bigger part of the job than you might expect.

Additional Thoughts: If I could change one thing about my job, I would only be at one or two schools, not at three - it's too spread out.

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