Reflections:  From Then To Now

     My interest in technology first began in the Fall of 1997.  Dr. Bitner taught a basic undergraduate computer class that semester at Southeastern.  Windows '97 was just released and Powerpoint was the new presentation tool.  I found creative release and potential for teachable moments through technology.  I knew that more was yet to come and I wanted to be up-to-date on the latest advancements.  In the midst of the semester I experienced the loss of my sister.  Dr. Bitner was supportive and understanding, which drove me to do the best that I could that semester.  My father upgraded the computer to Windows '97 and I spent hours teaching myself the ins and outs.  By the end of my undergraduate program in Fall of 1999, I was eager to explore using technology in the classroom.  A month later I was working at a private school in Mandeville, still exploring and self-teaching.  The classroom teachers had received new Apple computers and I spent many days staying late after school learning the software so that I could use it in my classroom.  Eventually, another third grade teacher was interested in what I had learned and we would explore the programs together.  Before you knew it, we were creating iMovies for New Parent Open House and trying to explore every technological resource at the school.  I attended inservices through the St. Tammany Parish School Board on whatever technology-related topic they offered.  Eventually I bought a computer similar to the one in my classroom so that I could spend more time researching the programs available at school. 
     A few years later, in the Spring of 2002, I decided to try to find a teaching assignment closer to home.  I was hired at a Slidell public school teaching 5th grade.  I found the same challenges in lack of technological resources in my new position, but tried to make due with what was available.  It was in the second semester of the 2002-2003 school year that I had to undergo a craniotomy to relieve some neurological problems that I was experiencing due to an arachnoid cyst.  Unfortunately, I was not able to return to school that year, but with the start of the 2003-2004 school year I decided to begin the ETEC program at Southeastern.  I had been "unproductive" for months and wanted to advance my degree.  Although I had taken INTECH that Summer, I wanted to do more.  I knew that no other degree program would suit me like ETEC.  The motivation I had from implementing technology into the classroom and helping my colleagues learn about the latest advancements was enough to be encouraged to complete the program.  Through the program I have been interested in my classes because I learned and was challenged.  Although the last few semesters have been hard, due to Hurricane Katrina, I have found inspiration and motivation from Dr. Adams to complete what I had started a few years ago.  Through her encouragement I found the strength to finish the program and look forward to future endeavors. 
     I am now webmastering the school's website and was one of the technology liaisons last year.  I have been inspired by the paradigm shift at my school concerning technology.  I now have three new computers in my classroom and a projector.  We have two new Dell labs available for the students.  I am more ready than ever to use the new resources to enhance the learning process in my classroom.  With this degree I hope to continue what I started several years ago; to educate and inspire both my students and coworkers.

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Page created by Christie Walcott & last updated 4/24/06.