Using technology in the classroom can be quite hard

It took me one year to finally feel it was the right moment to write this blog post. Exactly one year ago I was fired from my job. I was teaching Business English when unexpectedly my boss came into the company to announce that I had been promoted. Due to the fact that I was teaching Business English using Technology I was promoted to work in another company teaching with technology. I was kindly invited to pick up all my things and leave the company and wait at home until this new job started ( if it really ever existed) in two months time. This was not the kind of position one can call a promotion!

The truth behind all this story is that I was a threat for this person because I was using technology with my students. Students loved learning with technology using a wiki I created full of interesting and updated information that we discussed in class. This boss kept telling me not to use the computer because students were already exposed too many hours in front of the computer!!! My idea was never to replace her business. As a teacher I was looking for a way to motivate my students and I found it through technology.

As a teacher trainer when I tell participants that I was fired because I used technology everybody at the beginning is shocked and then tells me that this person will regret this the rest of her life. It is hard to innovate and even more if you find resistance from your superiors. Technology will not replace teachers, technology is just another tool we can use in the classroom that is really engaging and motivating for our students.

If you are planning to start using technology, do not feel overwhelmed by the amount of web tools you find online but just focus on which is the best tool for your educational purpose. I am a strong believer that technology has to be integrated using a blended approach that has to meet your students’ needs.

Luckily I was offered a much better job where I am currently coordinating an ICT lab and teaching young learners with technology. My current boss truly believes in me and in what I am implementing and this makes all the difference.

Nowadays using technology in the classroom is the most rewarding experience I have ever had.

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About jenverschoor

I´m a University Professor. I´m also a Public Translator and hold a Bachellor degree in Educational Management. I´m eager to learn new ways of incorporating CALL into my classes.

Posted on January 13, 2011, in Esl, EVO, EVO 2010, multiliteracies, Professional Development, Technology integration. Bookmark the permalink. 21 Comments.

  1. So many times, I have heard it said that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Or sometimes doors slam in your face so that windows can open… and other quotes like this which when you’re going through them don’t feel helpful while you’re feeling horrid and wishing you hadn’t pursued your dreams or trusted your instincts.

    But then, rainbows arrive… (OK, enough metaphors) but Jen, am so happy for you and thank you very much for sharing your story… goodness and good people win in the end even if it takes a really long time to get there!

    K

  2. Thank you Karenne for your lovely words. You have also inspired me to continute to pursue my dream. I really enjoy learning and sharing with/from you.

    The rainbow is now shining and making others realize the importance of innovation.

  3. Wow! Thank you for sharing that story. It is sad that others view innovation as a threat. It hurts the learners the most. Good for you for not letting it get you down and pursuing your passions and beliefs!

  4. What a shame on your ex-boss!! I’m sure he has already regretted losing a teacher as patient, harworking and creative as you are!!
    Whether people like it or not, we need to/will have to find a place to integrate technology into our curriculums sooner or later. This is the way how the 21st century is like.

  5. Teachers like you inspire me to continue to pursue my dream. Thank you for always being there and showing me a new world where all your dreams come true.

    It´s a pleasure to learn and share together :-)

  6. Thank you for sharing your story – I can’t imagine an education system that treats its passionate professionals in such a manner! The way I see it – you were meant to change classrooms… so enjoy the learners you spend time with now because they obviously needed you! Sometimes we need a change of soil in order to grow to our full height! Regards, Deb Hogg (Sydney, Australia)

  7. Another possibility would be for your boss not to fire you but to hide what you are doing, so that she could get all the credit! Or she could just systematically underestimate your work and then tell you that it belongs to the institution.

    As a Lab coordinator, I organized open workshops for the whole staff and was always ready to share what I learned trying to foster an atmosphere of *real* collaboration and professional development, http://tinyurl.com/4quotey but, instead, some people just want you to do the job for them.

    The last straw was when I was frowned upon for giving a presentation on e-learning at an ELT conference and when tech support told me I was getting in the way of his work! I resigned.

    Again, people feeling threatened by a curious, creative and hardworking colleague trying to integrate technology meaningfully into her classes is a sad reality I’ve been faced with over and over again for the last six years.

    I agree with Karenne that “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” and wiser! So here I am, starting again from scratch, meeting further resistance but also coming across some very generous and inspiring collegues and new career opportunities.

    Jen, I didn’t know your story in detail but I’m so gald you are now enjoying your new position. I’m sure all these stories are happening because we are undergoing the transition stage of the paradigm shift. It’s a brave new world and we need to be brave and strong!

    Thanks for sharing!

    Hugs,

    Carla

  8. Amazing story. Thanks for sharing and reminding us of this very important life lesson about staying true to what you believe you were put here to do.

  9. Dear Ozge,

    My ex-boss kept telling me that nobody could replace me if I was absent because I was the only one who was integrating technology.

    In this case to be irreplaceable meant to be fired. Luckily now I am able to show teachers how to adapt their curriculums to the 21st centruy.

    I am so glad to be able to share this wonderful journey with you.
    A big kiss
    Jenny

  10. Jenny,

    People are afraid of failure, of understanding that there are better ways to do the same old job. People are afraid of light, shining one and that’s why your boss decided to be in darkness. I know you’ve been through tough times, but this is past. One you are meant to shine, it will be anywhere. Technology is not the issue. People are!

  11. I was not treated as a passionate teacher but as a teacher that was going to ruin her business and that was never my objective.

    The change of soil was wonderful. Nowadays I am reaching so many young learners and really love my job!!

    Thank you for your encourgaging comment.

  12. I just feel for the school. They lost a wonderful teacher.

  13. Jenny Verschoor?? Vos fuiste al Salvador tambien en los 90? Llegue a este post a traves de un tweet de una conocida mia brasile#a y veo tu nombre.
    Espero que tus cosas esten bien,
    beso,
    Anina Astri

  14. Sometimes life hits you hard but then you realize why that happened. I am so glad I followed my passion and was not driven away to pursue something else.

  15. Dear Carla,

    I am so sorry that you had to go through all this just because you are a wonderful teacher.

    Many people feel as you said threatened to integrate technology. We´d have several talks on this matter and unfortunately we are opening a brave new world for teachers.

    Luckily there are already many open-minded teachers that are gradually starting to explore new areas of development.

    I am sure you are shining in your new position.
    Let´s keep struggling to show this new paradigm shift.

    The good news is that we are not alone.
    Best,
    Jennifer

  16. It´s a small world after all!!! Qué bueno encontrarte nuevamente. Esta semana me encuentro con Carla y Karina de la facu. Mandame un email a jenverschoor@gmail.com
    Besos
    Jenny

  17. Hi Jen!
    The only part of your story I’m actually surprised by is the fact you were told you’d been promoted… when it seems they were trying to “drive around” you, so to speak! ;-)

    There are so many views about education today, and the role technology should play in this process that wise teachers would do really well in trying to choose who to work for… If like-minded colleagues stay together and share their strengths, this “transition period” will soon be over, I believe!

    Keep giving your best to your classes, they’re lucky to have a committed teacher like you!

    Big hug,
    Gladys

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