May 30, 2014

Morphing a critic into a superhero sidekick at ISTE

Filed under: edtech coaching,ISTE Ed Tech Coaches Network,iste14 — Candace Hackett Shively @ 8:39 am

Any ed tech coach superhero loves suggestions, and Dawn Wilson’s tweet in response to my recent post offers a great idea for morphing the ed tech coach’s nemesis into a sidekick. Her tweet says it all: Screen Shot 2014-05-28 at 8.36.30 AM

Since every superhero needs a sidekick, I propose that we each adopt a reluctant teacher as our new sidekick. Here is a list of possible casting qualifications for the role of critic-turned-sidekick:

  • General attitude of skepticism
  • Profound dedication to education, though somewhat entrenched in doing it “the way I have always done it”
  • Communicatio skills: Vocal, strong communicator and dissenter
  • Leadership: Able to draw in other teachers, most often with biting remarks or loud questions in staff meetings
  •  Critical thinking skills: able to detect an unsupported or incomplete argument, such as vague explanations of new initiatives
  • Hidden flexibility: Can come around to a new point of view (well supported, of course) and make it sound like his/her own idea

We can each name teachers we work with who display these qualifications to be a great sidekick. I have true tales of nemeses turned sidekick, and I am sure most coaches do. Mine was a second grade teacher who griped so loudly in the faculty room about “having” to make a teacher web page that she sucked the entire primary hallway into the depths of disgruntlement. I asked her to be the teacher-trainer for the building. After a bit of convincing, she agreed. (Time passes. Workshops happen.) After six months, she was more proud of “her” teachers and their web pages than any other teacher-trainer in the district.  Such SUPERPOWERS!

The kryptonite lies in the transformation process from critic to sidekick. The solution: ISTE!Slide1

Imagine if we could submit a Sidekick Transformation application together with a nemesis teacher-leader to attend ISTE two-for-one. We might even get a corporate sponsor or two to pick up the tab on expenses (much more productive than giveaway doo-dads and exhibit hall junk that we give to our kids and grandkids). ISTE should be willing to waive the conference fees for Superhero Sidekicks who submit compelling applications. Imagine what that new sidekick might do to draw in others back at school after the ISTE experience. We could even have badge ribbons: “Sidekick in Training”? Or maybe “Superhero Sidekick”?

ISTE should really think about supporting the sidekicks. It would make a great superhero story for ISTE to tell.

No Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.