25 April 2013

Étienne Brûlé's Margaret Malkaltses' LC journey


IWB Learning Communities:
One Teacher’s Journey

I was amazed at myself! My confidence had gone from very, very low to…comfortable!”
Margaret Makaltses – P/J HSP Teacher at Étienne Brûlé J.S.

This year our Red Velvetfish IWB Learning Community welcomed Étienne Brûlé Junior School’s HSP teacher, Margaret Makaltses. In this podcast, Margaret describes her journey through the Learning Community process and candidly shares her story of how her technological competency and comfort-level with technology blossomed over the course of the year.
At the beginning of her journey, Margaret shares that she was eager and excited to welcome the IWB and its peripherals into her classroom. Margaret reveals that the initial excitement shifted as she began feeling apprehensive and overwhelmed. She explains that it felt as though what she describes as “rudimentary computer skills” simply weren’t enough to effectively incorporate the tools/features of the IWB into her program.
Following the second Learning Community session, Margaret agreed to host an observation classroom and co-plan/co-teach with her Itinerant Teacher. Margaret was provided with the opportunity to spend a half-day planning in a supportive and collaborative environment where she felt free to ask many questions, make mistakes, and try again! This one-on-one support served to boost Margaret’s confidence and comfort-level exponentially.
During Margaret’s observation classroom demonstration, her students participated in an engaging language lesson on inferencing that spoke to the differentiated learning needs of her students. Her students interacted with the board by using the sound recorder, wireless keyboard and mouse, and the ActiView document camera…and were thrilled!
Since then, Margaret has become increasingly comfortable with her IWB as she both creates her own flipcharts and modifies those she downloads from Promethean Planet. Margaret’s advice to new Learning Community members who may be feeling as nervous or apprehensive as she initially did is simple – don’t get overwhelmed…seek additional support through co-planning and co-teaching…it works!
 

HSP teacher Margaret Malkaltses.

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