When the Teacher Becomes the Student

Exciting and humbling: that’s how I describe my role as a middle school technology teacher. Exciting because I get to use all the cool new toys: video editing software, game design software, new PCs, robots, tablets, etc. Humbling because many of my students learn the technologies faster than I do. This year is especially humbling because it’s my first year at a new school and I’m still finding my niche. Teaching subjects like video editing, robotics, and game programming are wonderfully exciting. But it’s also humbling because the tools my students are using are ones I’m still learning myself. Not a day goes by when I can’t answer a question a student has about one of the tools and I have to turn to other students to help me. It makes me wonder what they think of me as their teacher.

I know I’m being too hard on myself and I should be patient. I’ve learned much about how I learn from taking guitar lessons for the last two years. When my guitar teacher gives me a new piece learn, he has me sight read it on the spot. Usually I play it terribly. I’ve had to a realize I am not someone who learns things right on the spot. I have to go back and work on it by myself at my own pace before it starts to make sense. And as I get older, I’m facing the fact that I learn slower than I did when I was younger. This would explain why my kids pick things up much faster than I do.

Now I know how other teachers feel when they try to implement technology into their lessons. It’s different. It’s scary. It’s new. Even though technology is my specialty, even I have trouble learning it quickly enough. And that’s exciting…..and humbling….



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