This year started the same as most years. Teachers were making lesson plans, copies, getting books ready, etc. in anticipation of a new year with new students. What we didn't expect was the vast changes that were about to take place as Canvas and the concept of blended learning were introduced into our schools.
At the beginning, when Canvas was first introduced there was a lot of skepticism and hesitancy to use it. For example, our first round of district wide testing was offered on Canvas and very few teachers participated. As the year progressed more and more teachers began to accept and use Canvas. By the end all of our teachers administered our district wide testing on Canvas and many were using it in their classrooms.
Our building went from a more traditional school culture with teachers hesitant of change to a culture open for trying new things (Canvas & blended learning). Part of this new culture is knowing that it’s ok when things don’t go as planned.
How did our building’s culture evolve? There were five teachers that participated in the Next Gen Cadre where they learned Canvas and brought it back to staff and used it in their classes. They started sharing their experiences which got others interested. Collaboration among staff allowed for more and more teachers to try out and learn Canvas. We also allotted at least one professional development Tuesday a month for staff to learn the workings of Canvas. Throughout the year it was always emphasized that there will be glitches and to not be afraid of them. Collaboration of staff from our building and from our eLearning team allowed for teachers to experience Canvas and work through the glitches.
Culture is always changing. It is important to learn from our mistakes and give new ideas a chance. It has been thrilling to see teachers grow professionally and sharing their experiences and excitement with others!
Today's thoughts come to us from Ms. Sara Lynch. Sarah has worked in education for 12 years teaching high school math, high school alternative classes, 5th & 6th grade math intervention and currently as s 5th – 8th grade Instructional Coach. She received her Bachelors from Indiana University East and Masters from Ball State University. Sarah is married and has two college aged boys. She enjoys time with her family and photography.