-Betsy O’Neill-Sheehan, MSW – School Counselor
Opening school year 2020 is a whole new kind of show whichever path your district is on. Some teachers say they feel like they are in their first year of teaching again, there is so much new to learn. Just like the new educators we once were, we gather ourselves around learning the newness of our classrooms and new roles both in person and digitally. It sounds something like this:
How do I share this link on google classroom? Is there an extension to keep students from joining before the teacher joins? (I didn’t even know what an extension was until about a week ago.)
How will our families be getting their devices? Maintaining devices?
How will I get remote access to programs I only have access to in the school’s network?
How will we monitor our student’s safety and privacy?
Where will all this tech come from?
In this fast-paced world where we want everything done yesterday, it’s hard to keep up with all the new technology and platforms. So I take a moment to think about it, and that’s when I think of you. You are literally IT, as in I.T. Information Technology, the patient folks who’ve come to help me with my tech from day 1. I put in a help ticket, and at some point within a few days, you magically appear, reach into the depths of my computer, fix it, and humbly go onto the next ticket. (BTW: While you are here, can you make my computer do a thing I want it to do, even though that thing doesn’t exist yet?)
This summer, you’ve had the major task of matching our students with 1:1 technology during a national surge of need. You’ve rebooted and redistributed inventory from classrooms to homes, tracking each one as they go. As I think of the problems that my one computer can have with an average of five IT requests in a year, it calls to mind the thousand of students and hundreds of teachers we have in our district. (That’s a lot of help requests!)
So thanks for what you are doing, and thanks for what you will do to help me in the future with the tech we can’t even predict yet… and for keeping up with the current tech, even though you sometimes only have access to outdated tech. You are so effective at behind the scenes that, like in a great play, the amount of work it takes for the show to go on is not always obvious. But when it comes to setting the platforms for this stage, YOU ARE IT. I hope everyone takes a moment to think about IT and shows you grace and gratitude.