Start to School Year 2022/23

Can you believe it’s “that time” already? I know I cannot! A lot has happened since my last post. Where do I begin? It’s been a rough year for EVERYONE during this pandemic. At Microsoft, we’ve been heads down, attempting to provide the best school experience and working elbow to elbow (virtually) with school districts, MOE’s (Ministries of Education), and nation states around the world. I’ve lost count of how many devices I’ve helped enrolled for the sole purpose to enable student learning. I know, for me personally, it’s probably over a million devices?!

Student learning… let’s talk about that. That’s ALWAYS been my core “why”. Why I work in the Product Group within Microsoft that I do. Why I’ve held other positions in within Microsoft. Why I’ve been a Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) for over 20 years. Why I enjoy going to education conferences and speaking. Why I create content. The list can go on and on. I’m a techie at heart but have a passion for sharing and creating learning experiences.

After 16 years at Microsoft, I’m humbled that I am able to retire, from my professional technical career, assisting institutions and administrators from around the world. This was a planned strategy which my wife and I have been planning towards for quite some time. School year 2022/23 was going to be MY year to retire! My wife is a school counselor at our local school district and will remain to be for the foreseeable future. For me? I thought I’d be asking the different, strategic business questions such as, “…will it be paper or plastic?” as a part time retirement gig. However, I’ve learned a GREAT deal from my friends, colleagues and customers. For that, I am grateful.

As my wife and I spoke about the “things that I could do”, I was able to reflect upon “the things I was able to observe and see”. Two things jumped out to me over the two decades that I’ve worked in education:

  • I’ve seen some GREAT teaching and some things to build upon
  • There’s a HUGE skills gap in the United States for technical skills

To that end, you’ll see my blog shift focus from “…this is how you might be able to do it into the classroom” to “this is how I’m doing it in MY classroom”.

I will be teaching Computer Science at Denmark High School in Alpharetta, GA. I believe that I’ve been fortunate enough to have some great educators in my life, learned presentation of technical content to adult learners and even co-taught/interacted with high school students through the years. I believe it’s my time to return back to my local community!

What does that mean for my blog? Well, I just spent the past week and a half, starting my professional educator journey, in GaTAPP training. This is an alternate route which helps industry professionals become certified teachers. I’m part of a cohort which will be teaching full time while engaging in professional learning and pedagogy seminars, gaining mentors inside and outside of our school and having a rockin’ clinical supervisor to help us on our 18 month certification journey. Since this process is new to me, I thought I’d share my journey and resources as I learn.

I am SO honored to be selected to be a part of this community program! If you would have asked me two weeks ago what I was going to do? I would have told you that I was going to depart my industry knowledge in the classroom to help students be successful in their journey to college or career. Wow… I was SO wrong! Just in this short amount of time, my eyes have been opened up to a whole new world!

All I can say is that I can’t wait to meet my students, learn who they are, and how I can help them. I’ve got an incredible task ahead of me! I’ve been dreaming each night of the lessons I can put together to engage them, learning from them and growing in our learnings together! I’ve already got my first week’s activities planned… hopefully they’ll have fun with it as we get to know one another. Until then…

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